BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has threatened to sue the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for alleged vote fraud over it handling of last month’s by-elections.
The Nelson Chamisa-led party raised concern over the credibility of the voters roll ahead of the polls after a number of discrepancies were uncovered by data analysts, as well as how Zec handled the by-elections.
Angered by how the party was blocked from freely campaigning before the by-election, CCC said Zec reneged on its constitutional mandate to stop violence and other electoral malpractices.
In a statement, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the opposition party was taking legal action against Zec to force the electoral management body to be accountable and ensure the credibility of future polls.
Referring to section 156 of the Constitution, the CCC statement said: “In terms of this provision, Zec has an obligation to ensure that appropriate systems and mechanisms are put in place to eliminate electoral violence, electoral malpractices and ensure the safekeeping of electoral materials.
“Section 155 of the Constitution requires that elections be free and fair. Following in-depth investigations and pursuant to taking legal advice following the March 26 by-elections, CCC is of the view that the conduct of Zec hitherto falls desperately short of the mandatory constitutional standards and there have been numerous violations of the electoral law.”
The statement added: “In response to this regrettable state of affairs, the movement is exploring (and in appropriate cases has already undertaken) legal, political and civil mechanisms to engage Zec and hold it accountable to avoid a repeat of these malpractices in the landmark 2023 general elections.”
But Zec disowned the flawed voters roll, claiming it was tampered with by its critics.
Political analyst Alex Magaisa said regular scrutiny of Zec was necessary to build confidence in the country’s electoral processes.
“It’s important to continuously hold Zec to account because it is the political referee and as with any referee in a contest, it must enjoy the full confidence of the contestants. Regular scrutiny of Zec is a necessary part of the process,” he said.
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