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Zimbabwe Electoral CommisionZimbabwe Electoral CommisionZimbabwe Electoral Commision
+263-242-756252
inquiries@zec.org.zw
1 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Electoral CommisionZimbabwe Electoral CommisionZimbabwe Electoral Commision

Conflict Management

This is dealt with in terms of Section 160B of the Electoral Act which deals with the establishment of
multi-party liaison committees.

The main aim of these provisions is to set up structures that will prevent or resolve conflicts and to ensure observance of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates. The structures for conflict management are multiparty liaison committees. ZEC must establish these committees as soon as possible after the close of nominations in an election. Decisions of these committees are made by consensus.

It must first set up a national multiparty liaison committee consisting of —

  • a ZEC Commissioner as chairperson of the committee;
  • 2 representatives of each political party contesting the election selected by their parties;
  • 2 representatives of an independent candidate contesting a Presidential election;
  • any person invited by the representatives of every political party represented in the
    committee.

The national multiparty liaison committee is given the function of establishing multiparty liaison
subcommittees in each province. It can delegate any of its functions to these subcommittees
but it must monitor, supervise and direct their activities
ZEC must also establish—
 constituency multiparty liaison committee for each constituency in which the election is
contested,
 a local authority multiparty liaison committee for each local authority area in which the
election is contested.
A constituency multiparty liaison committee, consists of —
 a representative of ZEC selected by ZEC;
 a representative of each political party contesting the election, who shall be selected by
the party or candidate concerned:
 2 representatives of an independent candidate contesting a Presidential election;
 any person invited by the representatives of every political party represented in the
committee.
A local authority multiparty liaison committee, consists of —
 a representative of ZEC selected by ZEC;
 a representative of each political party contesting the election, who shall be selected by
the party or candidate concerned;
 1 representatives of an independent candidate contesting a Presidential election;
 any person invited by the representatives of every political party represented in the
committee.
The main function of these multiparty liaison committees is to resolve problems through
dialogue and generally assist in the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties.
They must—
 hear and attempt to resolve any disputes, concerns, matters or grievances relating to the
electoral process, including in particular any disputes arising from allegations concerning
non-compliance with the Code of Conduct; and
 immediately report upon and refer to ZEC any disputes, concerns, matters or grievances
relating to the electoral process.
They may request ZEC to mediate or appoint an independent mediator to resolve any dispute,
concern, matter or grievance relating to the electoral process.
They may also present to ZEC any reports, assessments, records or recommendations relating
to the electoral process.
Control of politically motivated violence and intimidation
Elections in a democracy are premised upon a peaceful process of political competition.
Elections cannot be free and fair if violence and intimidation are used to prevent political
contestants from campaigning or to stop voters from voting or force them to vote for candidates
they do not support.
Part XVIIIB of the Electoral Act contains a whole range of measures to prevent and control
political violence.
Candidates and officers of political parties contesting an election will be required to take steps to
control politically-motivated violence and intimidation and to undertake to abide by the Code of
Conduct, which Code has been strengthened, especially as regards political violence and
intimidation.
After elections are called the police chief, in consultation with the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission must appoint a senior police officer for each provincial centre to be the special
police liaison officer responsible for the speedy investigation of cases of politically-motivated
violence or intimidation within that province which is brought to his or her attention by the, ZEC,
a multiparty liaison committee or the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
The police chief must also set up special police units in consultation with ZHRC. These units
must speedily investigate all cases of political violence and intimidation referred to them by the
police, ZEC, a MPLC or the ZHRC.
Provincial Subcommittees of National MPLC
Constituency MPLCs
Local authority MPLCs
National MPLC
There will also be special prosecutors and special magistrates courts to deal quickly with such
cases.
To assist each special police liaison officer, the ZHRC will set up in each province a Special
Investigation Committee to investigate cases of violence and intimidation during the election
period. The provincial special liaison police officer and representatives of political parties
contesting the election will sit on this Committee. The Committee will be chaired by a
representative of the ZHRC.
Where a Special Investigation Committee becomes aware, of any case of politically-motivated
violence or intimidation within the province, it must direct the special police liaison officer to
conduct the required investigations. If committee members so resolve, the committee may
accompany the special police liaison officer during the investigations.
If the ZHRC is satisfied, after an investigation by its committee, that an incident of violence or
intimidation did take place, it may take any of the following steps—
 where the violence or intimidation was perpetrated by a candidate or his or her election
agent, warn the candidate that he or she may be prosecuted & prohibited from
campaigning in the election; or
 where a supporter of a political party or a candidate perpetrates the violence or
intimidation, remind the party leader, or the candidate, that of him/her obligation to take
effective steps to prevent the supporters from engaging in politically-motivated violence,
and warn them that they may be prosecuted and that a candidate can be prohibited from
campaigning in the election; or
 if warnings are not heeded, or if the Committee believes that the incident in question is
of a very extensive or serious nature, the Committee must, as soon as possible, submit
a written report of the incident identifying, if it can, the perpetrators together with a
summary of any evidence it has gathered to a special prosecutor in the province.
In addition to any other penalty it imposes on a convicted person, the High Court will
have power to prohibit such a candidate from voting or standing for election for up to
five years.

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