OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) stated yesterday that it has gained a great deal of experience as an opposition group and is currently closing potential vote-rigging loopholes in preparation for the 2023 elections.
Yesterday, at a press conference in Harare, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere stated that they would not continue “whining” about electoral malpractices by authorities, but had “honed strategies” to foil any attempts to rig the elections.
Mahere also stated that they had altered their strategy regarding engagement with African and other international bodies in order to ensure long-term monitoring of the entire electoral process leading up to election day.
She stated, “We want to assure the public that we have and will continue to lobby the Southern African Development Community and the African Union on these issues.”
“Long-term monitoring of the electoral playing field is required. When our members were imprisoned, shot, abducted, and persecuted in the time leading up to the elections, there is no point in attempting to improve the voting environment prior to election day.
Members of the CCC, including Members of Parliament Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North), are currently languishing in remand prison facing various charges.
Sikhala and Sithole are charged with inciting violence in relation to the clashes that erupted at the funeral of the murdered party activist Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime two months ago.
Since the 2018 election, we have significantly honed our strategy. “We learned very important lessons, and even in these by-elections in March, this has informed our engagement with the international community, particularly regional bodies regarding the upcoming electoral processes in Zimbabwe,” said Mahere.
“We made sure to provide them with a dossier of pertinent information so that they are aware of the situation.” You are aware that there has been a change in the manner in which regional bodies manage elections. What Sadc did in Zambia and Malawi, and what it continues to do in other countries, was evident to us.”
Mahere stated that they wished to prevent electoral fraud, particularly in rural areas, by promoting awareness of electoral procedures.
“Our polling agents are prepared to recognise traditional leaders who intimidate citizens. We are not wallowing in self-pity and complaining. “We have strategies in place, but that does not absolve the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of its constitutional obligation to monitor these events to ensure that all parties comply with the code of conduct,” she said.
Ian Makone, CCC secretary for elections, urged Zec to conduct another voter registration drive in order to increase the number of eligible voters participating in the upcoming elections.
“We are demanding that Zec implement a further voter registration blitz,” Makone stated. “I hope that we all make this point collectively.”
“We want to go to the point where there is a commitment as to when that blitz will be, a commitment over voter education, because if we don’t, I fear that this generation, which is your generation, will not be involved in next year’s decision-making.”
Jasper Mangwana, a spokesperson for Zec, requested written questions but had not responded at the time of publication.
CCC has filed multiple complaints against Zec for failing to implement measures that promote a level playing field on the political front in preparation for credible elections in 2023.
Some of the complaints against Zec concern the voters list, but on Wednesday, the elections management body stated that the document was flawless. Newsday