Election watchdog endorses Mberengwa, Nyanga votes as free and fair; CCC cries foul over ‘irregularities’

INDEPENDENT election watchdog, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), has endorsed the recently held by-elections in Mberengwa and Nyanga as credible.

The verdict flies in the face of main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) claims that the outcome was not a reflection of the people’s will due to violence and intimidation.

Opposition party, CCC fared dismally as they were walloped in the two elections by Zanu PF.

In the aftermath of the rural district elections, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere rang alarm bells over the plebiscites, alleging violence and intimidation of voters in the build up to polling day.

“We’ve consistently said that each by-election is a dry run for 2023. We’re keenly aware of the assisted voting, political violence, banning of CCC meetings and voter intimidation that took place in Mberengwa and Nyanga. Zanu PF will never win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

Opposition CCC national spokesperson Fadzai Mahere

“We’ve begun our post-mortem review of these elections to examine how to sharpen our response to electoral manipulation in these areas. We have a model of how to win rural elections that has worked in places like Binga and Bulilima which we are scaling across the country

“As we work on the heavy lifting to ensure a big win in 2023, we continue to push hard for electoral reforms as we strengthen our mass mobilisation programme. We must register to vote, turn out to vote in our millions and defend the vote so we win Zimbabwe for change in 2023,” said Fazayi Mahere in a series of twitter posts.

The opposition has on numerous occasions accused ruling party of manipulating election results in its favour.

Recently the party launched a blueprint titled Pre-Election Pact on Electoral Reforms (PREPARE) which contains electoral reforms demands ahead of 2023 elections.

However, ZESN ruled the Mberengwa and Nyanga by elections as free and fair without any irregularities, casting doubts on the claims by CCC.

“Campaigns for the by-elections were mostly political rallies, door-to-door as well as the distribution of flyers and posters. There were no incidents of violence or intimidation that were reported in both wards.

“The polling day political environment was generally peaceful with no instances of political tensions and violence being reported.

“Both Zanu PF and CCC deployed party agents to track the polling process at all the polling stations ZESN observed and visited by the roving team.

“ZESN commends the two political parties for the comprehensive deployment of party agents to monitor the voting process on polling day. This affords them an opportunity for first hand observation of the process, enabling them to authoritatively comment on all processes,” said ZESN in a statement.


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