The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) implores electoralstakeholders to foster peace ahead of the March 26 by-elections and 2023 harmonized elections. The network is deeply concerned about the recent spate of inter-party as well as intra-party violence that occurred which taints the credibility of electoral processes.

The recent violent clashes have a potential to adversely affect the turnout of citizens on the ongoing voter registration exercise as violence impacts negatively on the participation in electoral processes especially of women and people with disabilities. Political and electoral related violence undermines civil and political rights and affects citizens’ right to compete in electoral processes. Also; it erodes trust in democratic processes as well as
undermines the quality of democracy thereby, limiting inclusive participation.

Furthermore, acts of violence often lead to voter apathy, especially among women and people with disabilities which in turn defeats the desired 50/50 approach to gender balance in electoral processes and leadership positions.

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