BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ TAFADZWA KACHIKO
OPPOSITION Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday demanded neutrality and fairness from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in tomorrow’s by-elections.
Addressing thousands of supporters in Epworth, Chamisa said the by-elections were a test of Zec’s capacity to conduct a credible election.
“Zec, we are watching you, where we are going it is a test. We want to see if you are serious, if there is any rigging. We have a right as citizens to demand that Zec must be disbanded. Players have a right to say this referee is not fair and can‘t referee us, so Zec if you continue playing like this, I warn you Justice (Priscilla) Chigumba, we will fire you,” Chamisa said.
“Zec does not mean Zanu PF electoral commission or Zanu PF electoral committee, Zec means Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Zanu PF is just a denominator just like CCC, the common denominator is Zimbabwe, be fair and allow people to be defeated. Zec must not be an extension of Zanu PF because Zanu PF is an outgoing political party.”
Zec has been under fire after data analysts recently exposed a number of discrepancies in the voters roll.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF yesterday claimed that it had closed rank with the former First Family, claiming Chamisa wanted to abuse the vulnerability of the latter following the death of former President Robert Mugabe.
Party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa made the statement at a post-politburo briefing in the capital yesterday a day after Mugabe’s son, Robert Junior, made a surprise appearance at a Zanu PF rally addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Chitungwiza.
“The CCC wanted to take advantage of the former First Family. We are happy that we had Robert Mugabe Jnr yesterday (Wednesday) affirming the position of the family. It is not only Robert, I have been interacting with Bona,” Mutsvangwa said.
The Mugabes were seemingly at loggerheads with the ruling party after the ouster of the late long-time ruler who had thrown his weight behind Chamisa ahead of the 2018 general elections.
The Mugabe family clashed with Zanu PF over where Mugabe was supposed to be buried, with the family insisting on his rural home and not National Heroes Acre.
Mutsvangwa said Zanu PF was a ”tsunami” that would grab seats once held by the opposition beginning with tomorrow’s by-elections.
“By the time we reach in 2023, we will be a tsunami sweeping MDC strongholds. We will let Zec work autonomously. If we knew that we would be rigging we would be sleeping knowing that we would win. We hope our detractors will see the amount of effort we used,” he said.
In another development, Mnangagwa has urged party supporters to brace for an elective congress in October this year.