THE Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace has urged Zimbabweans and civil society movements to join the opposition in boycotting any future elections until government implements reforms prescribed by the new constitution.

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The opposition MDC formations boycotted the two by-elections which were held in Mount Darwin West and Chirumanzu–Zibagwe and vowed not to participate in any future polls until government levels the electoral playing field.

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Zanu PF and the Professor Lovemore Madhuku-led National Constitutional Assembly party participated in the parliamentary by-elections which were all won by the ruling party.

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Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa the chairperson of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe told reporters in Harare Monday that MDCs were justified in boycotting the polls

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“We understand their concerns and we encourage them to partner with similar and like-minded institutions to push harder for the necessary reforms and alignment of the past laws to the constitution,” he said.

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The opposition MDC demanded that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ZEC should provide the voters’ roll at least two months prior to the holding of elections.

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They also wanted to be given equal media coverage by the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

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CCJPZ said last weekend’s by-elections were not fairly conducted.

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“These by-elections were not free and fair. For example in the resettlement areas, some people were told that if they make any independent choices, the land would be taken away just as it happened to some in the previous elections,” Muchabaiwa said.

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The group warned that the country would not hold credible polls if the government does not reform electoral laws.

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“Otherwise the forth coming 15 by-elections and the 2018 harmonized elections would just be a constitutional formality,” said Muchabaiwa.

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CCJPZ said they deployed 70 election observers to monitor the weekend by-elections who observed that villagers were frog marched to the polling stations.

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The Bishops said their election observers also witnessed voters in the two constituencies being intimidated.