In line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s undertaking to hold free and peaceful elections, the country has established special courts that will handle cases of politically motivated violence.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has also appointed Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza as the Harmonised Elections Commander. The commander will be working with an elections committee coordinating with other players in the electoral processes. 

This comes as various parties now in campaign mode ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections expected to be held between July and August.

Addressing the media in Harare this morning, Senior Assistant Commissioner Makodza said the special courts have been established across the country to speedily deal with politically motivated crimes.

“We have also put in place adequate security provisions to ensure primary and harmonised elections are held in a peaceful environment. Political parties are being urged to desist from engaging in political violence as police will descend hard on people who engage in any violent practices. Perpetrators of politically motivated violence could be sentenced up to a maximum period of 10 years in jail,” warned Senior Assistant Commissioner Makodza.

More than 5 million voters have been registered in a country-wide biometric voter registration (BVR) process which started in October last year.

Previous elections have been marred by political violence and President Mnangagwa has implored the police to play a pivotal role in ensuring that the forthcoming elections are held in a peaceful environment through effective and efficient policing.