Statement Calling for Peace in Zanu PF primary elections
Harare 17/03/2023….As the primary elections of the ruling Zanu PF party get underway on March
18, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), calls on all stakeholders in these elections, to shun all
forms of violence and commit to a peaceful process. ZPP urges all those involved in the elections
be they contestants or election officials, to uphold the integrity of electoral processes which can
be negatively impacted by political violence.
Following the announcement of the primary elections by the first secretary of the party, President
Emmerson Mnangagwa, campaigns for the primary elections are in full swing hence the need for
the processes to be conducted in a peaceful manner.
The Zanu PF primary elections in 2018 were marred by gross human rights abuses stemming from
factions within the party. The culture of violence within political parties primarily impacts citizens,
particularly vulnerable groups such as women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and young
people. All citizens are entitled to exercise their political rights and to participate in elections. The
SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections state that there should be
necessary measures and precautions put in place to prevent corruption, bribery, favoritism,
political violence, intolerance and intimidation during elections.
The Zanu PF primary elections are happening at a time when new boundaries for constituencies
and wards will be utilised following the delimitation process. The fact that some constituencies no
longer exist is grounds enough to cause bickering among contestants. It is the role of the party to
ensure those who are contesting are made aware of the consequences of perpetrating violence in
all its forms be it hate language, intimidation, harassment, assault to name but a few forms. It is
the responsibility of the party to take a stand beyond just rhetoric against political violence and
adopt stiff penalties for perpetrators.
ZPP notes with concern the low levels of participation of women in elections and appeals to Zanu
PF to ensure their lists of contestants in the primary elections include women, young women and
women with disabilities in significant numbers. Women will only participate if the process is free
of violence. Various progressive laws support the participation of women in politics including the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and
UN Resolution 1325. The latter provides for the prevention of violence, the protection of women
and their participation while the former reiterates the deliberate removal of factors that hinder
women’s participation in politics which include violence in processes such as the primary