CCC rigging claims crumble as Councillors, MPs take oath of office

OPPOSITION CCC councillors were yesterday sworn-in in local authorities around the country with the party’s legislators also set to take oath of office today, signalling the party’s endorsement of the recently held harmonised elections.
Analysts said the CCC hypocrisy stinks to high heavens as their leader cannot concede defeat in the Presidential elections while the party’s winning councillors and legislators gleefully make a beeline to take their oaths of office.

Political and legal analysts have noted that the party found itself in an electoral fix and quandary on how to reconcile allegations of rigging on one hand and the fact that they won in some constituencies and wards.

This, according to analysts, has left the CCC at sixes and sevens as either decision to attend or not will result in backlashes given the position they took.

Read Also: Opposition CCC demands fresh election

Analysts have noted that by attending today’s swearing-in ceremony, it will rubbish their rigging narrative and ridicule their claims that the process was flawed thereby legitimising the electoral outcome.

Failure to attend, said analysts, would amount to political suicide in that they will lose benefits that go with being a legislator such as parliamentary vehicles, allowances and the party will lose out on the Political Parties Finance Act which will ultimately result in by-elections.

Political analyst, Mr Gibson Nyikadzino, said the CCC had no option but to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

“There are political and legal risks associated with the failure of the CCC to adhere to the results announced by ZEC. The political risk is that by failing to be sworn-in, they would have renounced their representative right to the people, hence that will mean there will be a vacuum to be filled through by-elections. So practically, they are taking citizens for granted and holding democracy hostage,” said Mr Nyikadzino.

“They also face the risk of losing their stake in the Political Parties Finance Act. Therefore, it is a national expectation that the CCC participates at the swearing-in ceremony so that they come up with policy proposals to enhance robust political discussions for national development rather than thinking of themselves over the people they should represent.”

Kwekwe based lawyer, Mr Valentine Mutatu, said the attendance by CCC of the swearing-in ceremony, while constitutional, also has the effect of endorsing the electoral outcome which they had earlier on been denouncing.

“Legally, the participation of CCC in the swearing-in tomorrow is in line with constitutional provisions. Once an election is done, the winners must be sworn-in within the timeframes contained in the Constitution. If, however, they fail to do so, they will lose the seats and in terms of the law, by-elections will be held.

“The implications of their participation can be viewed from two angles; the first one is that CCC is endorsing the process that it views as flawed and the second one could be that they may not be happy with the process leading to the election results but have nevertheless decided to occupy the political space notwithstanding their grievances,” said Mr Mutatu.

In Parliament, he said, to the extent that the ruling party has no absolute majority, any constitutional amendment would require the consent of the CCC.

“In local authorities, they believe they control the urban ones which possibly are key in governance. However, politically some may take it as a wholesome endorsement of the electoral process which would defeat the argument for illegitimacy,” said Mr Mutatu.

Another political analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa, said the fact that CCC councillors in Bulawayo were sworn-in, the likes of Mr David Coltart, showed that the party had no option but to be sworn-in lest they would soon count their political and economic losses.

“Yes there is the dilemma of a possible boycott foisted by (Mr) Nelson Chamisa as a bitter losing Presidential candidate, but that does not change the legitimate outcome of the whole plebiscite. His personal interest and dictatorship cannot override the personal interests of MPs and councillors. Mr Coltart has already been sworn-in in Bulawayo as a councillor, the tone has been set,” said Mr Mureriwa.

Political analyst, Dr Wellington Gadzikwa, however, felt that it was normal for a party to accept its win and reject electoral outcomes where it would have lost on the basis that the process was flawed.

“This is politics. It is not judged through a moral compass. Politics is about advancing arguments, making U-turns and so forth, there are no principles in politics, anyone can do anything to get something in politics,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba declared President Mnangagwa as winner of the presidential elections after he beat his closest rival, Mr Nelson Chamisa.

President Mnangagwa, who was Zanu PF Presidential candidate, romped to victory with 2 350 111 total votes (52,6 percent of the vote) ahead of CCC leader, Mr Chamisa who garnered 1 967 343 votes (44 percent).

The August 23 poll has been described by election observers as having been held under a peaceful environment.

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