The countdown to Zimbabwe’s most contested and litigious election is on. As the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on its candidates’ status, mounting obstacles loom large for the opposition. In the spotlight: the ominous Patriotic Act.
On July 16, the main opposition party staged its election launch rally, a rare moment of visibility in a month marred by over 100 banned rallies and events. While the ruling Zanu PF parades its gatherings without hindrance, CCC navigates a minefield of arrests, intimidation, and prohibitions.
Amid these trials, the opposition’s access to vital information remains restricted. The voters’ roll, a cornerstone of transparent elections, is shrouded in ambiguity. Section 21.7 of the Electoral Act stands violated, denying the opposition the ability to scrutinise duplications and omissions that could shape electoral outcomes.
Yet, the challenges don’t stop there. President Mnangagwa’s recent signing of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Act raises concerns over freedom of expression and association. The act’s broad language jeopardises campaigning against poor governance, corruption, and abuse of power.
As the clock ticks, over 100 legal cases contesting nominations and disqualifications linger in the courts. Savior Kasukuwere’s presidential nomination legality remains a focal point. With the 2018 elections’ tight margin etched in memory, the incumbent treads carefully.
Join “Spotlight on Zimbabwe” as we navigate these mounting obstacles. The road to the 2023 elections is fraught with challenges, testing the limits of democracy and accountability.