Zimbabwe’s electoral body has lifted a moratorium on elections that had been imposed at the height of the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, a senior official announced on Tuesday.Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Priscilla Chigumbda said the lifting of the suspension means that political parties and other stakeholders could now resume electoral activities.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that it has lifted with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities following measures taken by Government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chigumba said.
The electoral commission suspended all electoral activities in June at a time when the country was experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The suspension stalled by-elections in a number of constituencies that had fallen vacant following the recall of the sitting parliamentarians by a splinter group of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Chigumba said electoral timelines for pending by-elections would be publicised “in due course”.
She announced that ZEC had developed a COVID-19 policy “which outlines how by-elections and other electoral activities will be conducted without exposing those involved to health risks.”
As part of the policy, members of the public would be allowed to bring their pens when coming to cast their votes and there would be mandatory temperature tests, wearing of masks and sanitisation of hands for all people entering polling stations.