Local advocacy organisation Election Resource Centre (ERC) has condemned the brutal killing of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Tapfumanei Masaya.
The CCC member is alleged to have been abducted last week Saturday while campaigning in Mabvuku ahead of the by-election scheduled for December 9.
Masaya’s body was found dumped at the intersection of Arcturus Road and Lobho Road in the Cleveland area.
In a statement the Election Resource Centre- Africa (ERC) called on relevant authorities to rein in surging cases of political violence.
” ERC Africa condemns the horrendous politically motivated murder of Pastor Tapfumanei Masaya who had been abducted while campaigning ahead of the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency by-election scheduled for 9 December 2023,” read the statement.
“We join the Masaya family in mourning the deceased. The ERC joins the calls for stakeholders (ZEC, ZHRC, ZRP, ZANU PF, CCC and supporters) to immediately address the escalating cases of politically motivated violence.
“It is concerning that notwithstanding the ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in 2022, there has been a significant increase in the cases of politically motivated violence around election dates.”
The advocacy group warned of the dire effects of violence saying: “Politically motivated violence has serious consequences for the victims but also negatively affects free, fair and credible elections and Zimbabwe’s democratic trajectory.”
According to the ERC, with evidence that the murder is linked to political participation, the Electoral Act sets out prohibited conduct that could potentially invalidate an election or result in the disqualification of candidates, with politically motivated violence, being one.
Additionally, the ERC cautioned against political parties and their members from using the recall provision to settle political differences disregarding the political rights of citizens exercised at the ballot.
CCC has seen more than 28 legislators and 14 Senators being recalled from public office by one Sengezo Tshabangu.
“Recalls have a demobilising effect on the electorate and contribute to the ever-increasing voter apathy. Long term the more the recalls happen, the less likely citizens are to participate in elections.
“A core issue is that the current application of section 129k of the Constitution (recalls) in Zimbabwe is undemocratic.
“ERC calls on all stakeholders to strive to comply with constitutionalism and respect citizens’ political rights in applying the recall laws and refrain from wonton application of the law that ultimately infringes on the rights of citizens,” the election observer said.
The advocacy group urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in consultation with electoral stakeholders and political parties to deliberate on whether the grounds for a free and fair election on 9 December in the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency still exist.
Recently, a former opposition MP James Chidhakwa was abducted in Harare on October 23 and severely tortured.
Another legislator, Takudzwa Ngadziore, was abducted near his home in Harare during a Facebook Live video.
He told the press that he was tortured, injected with an unknown substance and dumped naked in Christon Bank, Mazowe on the outskirts of Harare.