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NO MORE WHINING FROM US, SAYS MAHERE newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

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OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) yesterday
said it was now a lot wiser as an opposition and was busy plugging loopholes
for possible vote rigging going into the 2023 elections.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, CCC
spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said they would not continue “whining” over
electoral malpractices by authorities, but had “sharpened strategies” to
outsmart any attempts at rigging the polls.

Mahere also said they had changed tack on engaging African
and other international bodies so as to ensure there was long-term monitoring
of the whole electoral process leading to the polling day.

“We want to assure the citizens that we have lobbied,
(that) we continue to lobby both the Southern African Development Community and
the African Union on these issues,” she said.

“There is need for long-term monitoring of the election
playing field. There is no point in coming before election day to try and
assist with the voting environment when during the period preceding the
elections, our members were being incarcerated, shot, abducted and persecuted.”

Currently, CCC members such as MPs Job Sikhala (Zengeza
West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) are languishing in remand prison
facing various charges.

Sikhala and Sithole face charges of incitement to violence
in relation to the skirmishes that broke out at the funeral of murdered party
activist Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime two months ago.

“We have sharpened our approach significantly since the
2018 elections. We took very important lessons, and even in these March
by-elections, this has informed our engagement with the international
community, particularly regional bodies around the electoral processes that are
going to take place in Zimbabwe,” Mahere said.

“We ensured that we have a dossier of information that we
gave them so that they know what is taking place. You are aware that there has
been a shift in approach by the regional bodies on how they manage elections.
We saw what Sadc did in Zambia and Malawi and what it continues to do in other
countries.”

Mahere said they also wanted to guard against electoral
theft, especially in the rural areas by engaging in an awareness drive on
electoral processes.

“Our polling agents are ready to identify traditional
leaders who would be intimidating citizens. We are not sitting back and
complaining, feeling sorry for ourselves. We do have strategies in place, but
that does not take away the constitutional obligation of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) to monitor these events to ensure that all parties comply with
the code of conduct,” she said.

CCC secretary for elections Ian Makone called on Zec to
conduct another voter registration blitz to ensure that more eligible voters
participate in next year’s elections.

“We are saying to Zec, and I hope we all collectively make
that same point, we require them to institute a further voter registration
blitz,” Makone said.

“We want to go to the extent whereby there is a commitment
of when that blitz is going to be, a commitment over the voter education
because if we don’t, I worry that this generation, which is your generation,
will not be part of the decision-making that takes place next year.”

Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana requested questions in
writing, but had not yet responded by the time of going to print.

CCC has raised various complaints against Zec for failing
to put in place measures that promote a level political playing field for a
credible election in 2023.

Some of the complaints against Zec surround the voters
roll, but the elections management body on Wednesday said the country had a
perfect document. Newsday




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