BY EVANS MATHANDA/TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has demanded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party desists from using chiefs and village heads as commissars during elections.
Addressing a packed “thank you” rally at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo yesterday, Chamisa said the security sector in the country should not be used by political parties.
The country is expected to hold general elections next year.
“I want to welcome our security sector. The security sector belongs to the people and not political parties. Our security sector must not be led astray by the notion that they are for a particular party. August is the month of our security forces. Soldiers are not for the party, they are for the people, and for the law. Soldiers and police do not salute the political parties but the Constitution of the people who they represent,” Chamisa said.
“Chiefs and headmen must not be used by political parties,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Colonel Alphios Makotore declined to comment on the issue.
“We do not respond over the phone. Please send me an email,” Makotore said.
Chamisa also promised to put an end to forced displacements of villagers from their land in the country to make way for businesses.
“Our new government will not take land from anyone, but instead, it will offer title deeds. We will revive business confidence and investor confidence because the economy is about building confidence in title deeds and ownership.”
Chamisa pledged that his party would have polling agents at all polling stations across the country.
In the 2018 elections, Chamisa, who contested under the MDC Alliance ticket and narrowly lost to Mnangagwa, failed to field polling agents at some remote polling stations which he said were the game-changer.
“This time, we will field polling agents at every polling station. Last time, we were beaten in areas where we did not field polling agents,” he said.
He also claimed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) had not responded to issues raised by his party on its management of polls.
Chamisa said among the demands were inclusion of the diaspora vote, non-partisan traditional leaders, and transparent printing of the voters roll, among others.
Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana yesterday confirmed that the commission had received papers from CCC.
“We received the documents and the commission is yet to respond as per proper procedure. Some of the issues need multi-stakeholder approaches since it’s not an individual political party issue that they (CCC) raised,” Mangwana said.
Chamisa also decried persecution of opposition supporters and the biased judicial system in the country.
Currently, CCC legislators Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) are in jail since June 15 for allegedly inciting violence following the brutal murder of Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime.
Thirteen other CCC activists are in jail for alleged violence in Nyatsime. All the accused have been denied bail.
Chamisa claimed that the Zanu PF government had no clue on how to solve the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe.
“Mnangagwa is now feeling the heat and he regrets why he stole the election victory from me in 2018. He is failing to make ends meet as the economy continues to fall. What I am sure of is that the whole nation has now allowed me to lead the country,” he said.
“We have changed the political system in Zimbabwe. Some are pushing me to tell people to go to the streets. I will not do that. We lead with God and God is not confused.”
He said as a result of political problems and corruption in the country, investors were now shunning Zimbabwe.
The CCC leader also said his party would never return land to the whites as often suggested by Zanu PF.
“We are going to give people title deeds to land. We will not return the land to the white owners as is always being propagated. I heard them say that if the boy gets into power, he is going to take back the land to the whites. No! That is never going to happen, we are going to give title deeds to our people,” Chamisa said.