THE newly-formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa yesterday acknowledged that it blundered when it submitted more than one candidate in certain wards to contest in municipal elections in Bulawayo and Masvingo, a situation that has the potential of dividing votes.
Chamisa’s party was formed on Monday, two days before the January 26 nomination court sat.
It has since emerged that Norman Hlabani and Mpumelelo Moyo were both accepted for ward 26 in Bulawayo, while Donaldson Mabutho and Bekithemba Nyathi were accepted for ward 9, a development that has exposed confusion in Chamisa’s new party.
Addressing journalists yesterday at the media centre in Harare, party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the double candidates saga that had triggered social media debate was a result of “a technical glitch”.
“We guarantee the citizens that the confusion will be resolved in a couple of hours.
With any innovation to rollout the new system, there are bound to be technical glitches.
A total of 143 by-elections are scheduled to take place across the country.
“We only had some minor irregularities in only three out of 143 vacancies, which present a success rate of 98%.
We obviously know that this is a transitional period of creating a brand new machine.
For a new baby that was born on Monday, that’s not bad and there have already been some withdrawals from two candidates in line with our electoral law,” she said.
The CCC party distanced its leadership from the double candidate saga. Later, one of the candidates fielded in Bulawayo, Nyathi withdrew his nomination papers for ward 9 to pave way for Mabutho the councillor recalled by the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora in September.
Nyathi told NewsDay yesterday that these were “small squabbles” that emanated from their party’s internal processes, adding that they should not interfere with a bigger project for change in Zimbabwe.
“For this reason, I now throw my weight behind the party’s preferred candidate Donaldson Mabutho.
I will also do whatever it takes for him to win ward 9.
I also want to take this opportunity to apologise to my leaders, in particular Chamisa and his vice-president Welshman Ncube for allowing the small squabbles to spill into the bigger picture,’’ Nyathi said.
He said he would not allow the ruling party Zanu PF to win the council seat due to squabbling.
But Zanu PF director for information Tafadzwa Mugwadi scoffed at the CCC gaffe saying it exposed leadership wrangles in the opposition.
“It is within their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that even if they change one name to the other, chaos and confusion is their culture.
I doubt if anyone was surprised because this is not even new, it’s just the change of name and colours but the same ideologies,” Mugwadi said.
Human rights defender Effie Ncube warned that double fielding of candidates could benefit the ruling Zanu PF.
“They should engage extensively so that some of these candidates withdraw because this will give advantage to other political parties like Zanu PF to win,’’ Ncube said. Newsday