Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly condemned the use of police officers and other security agencies by some aspiring candidates in the just ended Zanu-PF primary elections.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa said that the use of law enforcement agencies for political party purposes other than to maintain law and order had no place in his new government.
The report said that some police officers acted as polling officers during the elections.
In a statement, the president warned that police officers or Zanu-PF officials caught abusing state institutions such as the police would be dealt with “severely”.
“Let it be known that conflation of party and state institutions as might have happened in the past will not be allowed under the new dispensation where the electoral playing field must be seen to be fair and even. Having said this, it must be acknowledged and accepted that our law enforcement agencies should and will be deployed to ensure law, order and the preservation of peace wherever people gather, including for political purposes,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
Earlier this week, Mnangagwa reportedly”admitted to the problems which marred his party’s weekend elections”, following a number of chaotic scenes.
Cases of violence, vote rigging and bribery were reported in some constituencies.
Mnangagwa, however, said that the problems that the ruling party faced came from “Zanu-PFs desire to professionalise its candidate selection process as well as deepening democratic processes within the party”, a Daily News report said.
He said his party was preparing for the forthcoming elections which it would win resoundingly.
“Whatever teething problems we have experienced so far –we have noted them closely – we remain convinced that the democratic course we have started in the management of our party affairs is the correct one,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
Zimbabwe was expected to go to the polls before August 22.
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