Parties draft election code of conduct

Paul Mangwana

POLITICAL parties represented in Parliament have finished drafting an electoral code of conduct to govern their conduct in next year’s elections.

Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC officials had for the past few months been involved in crafting the electoral code of conduct.

In separate interviews, representatives of the political parties said they finalised the code on Thursday in the hope that it would be adopted by their parties in due course.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Paul Mangwana said paper work has been completed and what remains is for the code to be adopted.

“We were finalising the document so that we can send it to our respective political parties for consideration. Only when it has been approved by the political parties, can it be adopted. We have concluded the text. After presenting it to the political parties they may come to say improve on this and that,” said Cde Mangwana.

MDC-T secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora said the code of conduct emphasises on denouncing violence by political parties.

“We completed the process, we have basically agreed on the text of the code of conduct but the highlight is that the code of conduct is going to apply to political parties, traditional leaders as well as security services and civil society organisations. We have also included that political parties must specifically denounce violence whenever it occurs,” said Mr Mwonzora.

‘We are also hoping that the three leaders of the political parties concerned President Mnangagwa, president MDC-T Morgan Tsvangirai and president Prof Ncube are going to publicly sign a declaration of commitment to the code of conduct,” said Mr Mwonzora.

MDC’s deputy president Mr Edwin Mushoriwa said the electoral code was a step in the right direction in electoral reforms.

He said the involvement of political parties will ensure that the code is respected by the people. “The code of conduct is there to improve relations among the contestants. That is why we are coming up with a self-controlling code of conduct. As competitors or participants we will be involved in curbing issues of violence, curbing issues of hate language and other electoral malpractices,” said Mr Mushoriwa.

He said the code of conduct will be taken to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to include the views of other political parties that are not represented and civil society organisations as the electoral body was involved in gathering their views on the subject.