The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Monday said it reported the presidential candidates of the two main political parties over suspected violation of the Electoral Act.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba told journalists in Harare that the commission had noted with concern continued violations of the electoral act by candidates contesting the 2018 elections.
“On July 29, at least two candidates gave statements which were published in the media and might be interpreted as campaigning...the matters have been referred to the police for investigation for possible violation of the law,” she said.
Chigumba said Zec could only take action after full investigations.
The reported candidates are Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and the MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa.
Stung by rejection by his predecessor former President Mugabe, who told journalists Sunday that he was not going to vote for Mnangagwa, but rather for opposition leader Chamisa, Mnangagwa released a video on Sunday imploring Zimbabweans to reject the comeback of Mugabe.
Said Mnangagwa in the video: “Now that it is clear to all that Chamisa has forged a deal with Mugabe, we can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation. The choice is clear you either vote for Mugabe under the guise of Chamisa or vote for a new Zimbabwe under my leadership and Zanu PF. Real change is coming. We should all be part of it. God bless Zimbabwe.”
The MDC Alliance presidential candidate also held a press conference on the eve of the elections.
Chamisa and his legal adviser, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, briefed the media at a hotel in the capital, announcing their vigilance on election day.
Clause 7 (1)(b) of the Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates and other stakeholders prohibits political players and parties from undertaking any campaigns from midnight, 24 hours before the opening of polling stations.
“No political party or candidate may, from midnight 24 hours before polling day in any election or referendum until polling stations are closed on that day publish, or cause or permit the publication, of any advertisement or statement promoting or opposing a particular party or candidate,” the code of conduct. reads.
Chigumba warned journalists and election agents against interviewing voters on their way to and out of the polling stations, adding that the actions could lead to the withdrawal of accreditation.