By Buhle Tshavango.
THE Election Resource Council (ERC) has called upon political parties in Zimbabwe to respect and enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates.
As the country gears up for the 2018 harmonised elections ERC has reiterated that the Electoral code of conduct must be upheld as it paves the way for a smooth electoral process that is devoid of violence.
“The Code’s purpose is to promote conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections and a climate of tolerance”, said ERC.
ERC emphasised on the use of the code of conduct by political Parties and candidates as it was a critical instrument in fostering political tolerance and went to further to speak on the need for mechanisms to be put in place to curb violence and make perpetrators of violence accountable for their undesirable actions.
The code is contained in the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of Zimbabwe and all political parties and candidates are expected to abide by this it during elections.
In light of the previous 2008 election that was marred by violence, peace loving Zimbabweans have been urged to shun any form of violence, youths have also been called upon to desist from allowing themselves to be used to perpetrate acts of violence.
“Young men and women must desist from being used and abused by politicians as instigators of violence.
“Violence of any nature by whoever is totally unacceptable and must not be tolerated in Zimbabwe and parties must publicly denounce violence and put in place measures to reprimand perpetrators of violence within their structures”, added ERC.
The purpose of the Code is to promote conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections and a climate of tolerance in which electioneering activity may take place without fear or coercion, intimidation or reprisals. It applies to political parties, candidates for election, election agents for candidates and members and supporters of political parties and candidates