Leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa has cast his vote in Harare’s Kuwadzana East constituency this morning amid protest of what he calls failure by the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) to pass the litmus test of holding a credible and transparent election.
The CCC leader arrived at Kuwadzana 2 Primary School in the company of party deputy spokesperson, Ostallos Siziba and several other party members.
In the run up to today’s by-election, there had been concerns raised by opposition parties and civic society organisations over the opaqueness of the ballot paper printing processes and various anomalies on the voters roll among other issues.
“We are however sad ,If ypu look at the way the indelible ink is not that indelible and we have received reports from across the whole country where we hear that ZEC has not done a perfect job. In fact ZEC has failed to pass the different tests that we had put; the integrity test, the independence test, the professionalism test, the accountability test,” Chamisa told reporters soon after voting.
“We have asked them numerous questions and they have not been able to account for them around the issue of the voters roll, polling materials, the printing of ballot papers, who printed.”
Chamisa’s sentiments have already opened, wide the window of doubt with regards to the credibility of the by-election barely half-way through the voting exercise.
However, ZEC has on countless occasions stated its capacity to hold a free and fair election despite criticism from the opposition parties over what they deem an unleveled political playing field.
Chamisa also said his party will seek the interventions of regional bodies such as SADC and AU to address ZEC’s shortcomings ahead of the upcoming general election next year.
“This is just a teaser and ZEC has failed.We are going to take these issues seriously. This is a by-election we are testing the capacity of ZEC the sincerity of ZEC. What we have seen is that ZEC is not fit for purpose and ZEC is not professional. It is not independent,”
“This is a matter that we have to escalate within our own national jurisdiction but beyond in the context of SADC and the AU to help us help ourselves so that we don’t have another disputed election. If ZEC does not amend its ways it has to be disbanded because they have failed,” said Chamisa.
Elsewhere, voting commenced well in various parts across the country where by-elections are taking place although voter turn-out, as expected, has been relatively lower than during a general election.
There are 28 parliamentary and 105 local government council seats up for grabs in today’s by-elections which were left vacant due to recalls and deaths of representatives.