The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has disowned a statement circulating on social media that claims the commission declared the elections held on August 23rd and 24th, 2023, as invalid and called for a new election without ZEC’s participation. The said statement was attributed to ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Utjoile Silaigwana. It read:
We acknowledge the contents of the final SADC SEOM report on the recent elections in Zimbabwe. One of the key contents of the report section 12.3 (b). We admit to the violation of the Electoral Act that bars us (ZEC) from employing individuals closely related to senior government officials or that of senior ZANU PF leaders.
To that effect we also admit this compromised the ZEC institution as a whole and influenced the result of the elections.
We therefore declare the elections held on the 23rd and 24th of August 2023 null and void and call for a fresh election to be held without our (ZEC) involvement.
ZEC said the statement must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. Said the electoral body:
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that the notice purportedly issued by the Chief Elections Officer circulating on social media declaring elections of the 23rd and 24th of August 2023 as null and void is FAKE! ZEC has issued no such statement and dismisses it with the contempt it deserves. The public is advised to disregard the said statement!
The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is demanding fresh elections due to alleged irregularities in the previous harmonised elections held on August 23, 2023. The reported irregularities include ballot mix-ups, voter intimidation, biased state media, and the banning of opposition rallies. The CCC calls for independent bodies like SADC, the African Union, or the United Nations to oversee future elections, as they accuse the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of favouring the ruling ZANU PF party and manipulating results in their favour. However, ZANU PF maintains that elections will only take place in 2028.