By Wallace Mawire
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) in Zimbabwe says that it has noted with grave concern the rising levels of police led oppression and intimidation which are characterising political and campaign activities ahead of the 2022 By-Elections.
It is reported that incidents of what appear to be systematic abuse of the rule of law to deny the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and candidates the opportunity to campaign in line with section 67 of the Constitution have been reported across by-election areas over the past few weeks in the country.
ERC says that the protection of human and electoral rights is part and parcel of the exercise of police functions under section 219 (1) (e) of the Constitution.
The organization says that police officers are the first line of defence in the protection of political rights especially in light of the upcoming by-election and must conduct themselves in a manner that promotes credible elections.
The ERC has called on the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure that the country remains committed to multiparty democracy and should refrain from exercising their powers in a manner that undermines the conditions conducive to open participation and free and fair elections.
The ERC says it additionally calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to condemn in the strongest possible terms all conduct and behaviour that undermines the democratic process of free and fair elections.