Zimbabwean leader Mnangagwa sets date for long-awaited by-elections

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa conducts a press conference on August 3, 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government applied to rejoin the club in 2018 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office. (Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proclaimed March 26 as the date for long-awaited by-elections to fill vacant seats in the National Assembly and various local authorities across the country.

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a past press conference. /Getty Images

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had in 2020 suspended the holding of by-elections in line with government COVID-19 regulations, banning huge gatherings to curb the spread of the pandemic.

In Proclamation 1 of 2022, which was issued on December 24, 2021, and published by the ZEC on Thursday, Mnangagwa fixed January 26 as the date on which nomination courts will sit to accept the filing of papers by prospective candidates.

There are 133 by-elections due for National Assembly and local authority seats, most of which fell vacant following the recall of Members of Parliament and councilors by the opposition MDC-T party.