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Zimbabwe election ban lifted, to hold by-elections on March 26

Zimbabwe will hold elections to fill vacant parliamentary and local authority elections on March 26, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proclaimed, ending a Covid-induced ban on electoral activities which had angered opposition parties.

The nomination court will sit on January 26 to register candidates, according to the proclamation dated December 24, 2021, but only published on Thursday.

Twenty-eight parliamentary seats are vacant, mostly caused by recalls of sitting MDC Alliance MPs by the rival MDC-T faction and deaths.

Elections are due in Pumula, Nkulumane, Epworth, Glen Norah, Harare Central, Highfield East, Highfield West, Kuwadzana East, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, St Mary’s, Glen View North, Kambuzuma, Harare East, Dangamvura-Chikanga, Mutasa South, Marondera Central, Marondera East, Murewa South, Chivi South, Mwenezi East, Binga North, Tsholotsho South, Mkoba, Kwekwe, Mbizo, Mberengwa South and Gokwe Central parliamentary constituencies.

There are 105 vacant seats in local authorities across the country, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Opposition parties have accused Mnangagwa of using the cover of Covid-19 to postpone by-elections, most of which are in MDC Alliance strongholds, to deny voters representation.

Political parties will use the by-elections as a dry run ahead of general elections due in 2023.

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