The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has expressed serious concerns over alleged electoral interference and abuse of power by the ruling Zanu PF party.
Addressing journalists in Harare today, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere expressed concern over the use two organisations linked with the ruling party in electoral processes which she said jeopardized the integrity of the upcoming elections.
“We then have a problem of FAZ and the Heritage Trust, these shoddy institutions that are being used by Mr. Mnangagwa. The Constitution provides for the Central Intelligence Organisation, who are these shoddy organisations, what is their mandate, where did they come from. What job are they performing? We don’t want any intimidation of voters, we don’t want them to profile people. We saw them frog marching sometimes citizens to go and vote in Zanu PF primaries.
“We have continuously said that we take issue with the interference of FAZ and the Heritage Trust with the general rights of citizens, they cannot be allowed to intimidate and harass citizens. This election should be free and fair. Everybody’s vote is secret, so we don’t want them coming in to frog march people,” Mahere said
She also expressed concern over the alleged access to the voters’ roll by the ruling party and pointed to the numerous WhatsApp and SMS messages that citizens received, seemingly originating from President Mnangagwa and encouraging them to join Zanu PF-related groups.
“What we have seen since the voter registration process is that it would appear that Zanu PF has a copy of the voters roll, why do we say this? You saw all the WhatsApp or SMS messages that everyone was receiving which were allegedly from Mr. ED Mnangagwa saying please join this WhatsApp group that belongs to Zanu PF.
“What’s interesting about these WhatsApp messages is that the correlate with the new boundaries, so it’s obvious that there are two issues. The voters’ roll doesn’t disclose people’s phone numbers, the question that we ask ZEC is how did Zanu PF tell each citizen’s phone number? That information is in ZEC’s database. Does Zanu PF have access to that database? That’s the question that we are asking in terms of the law.
“More fundamentally with that, if Mr. Mnangagwa is able to send those messages, it means he’s got some information we don’t have because certainly we don’t have candidates’ information that will allow us to establish who is registered in which Constituency and also the polling areas and stations,” she said
Mahere further demanded that ZEC uphold its constitutional duty to independence and non-partisanship, urging the electoral commission to ensure equal access to the voters’ roll for all political parties.