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CCC demands fresh polls

by Staff reporter
30 Aug 2023 at 06:48hrs | Views
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has demanded fresh elections supervised by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) as the United States revealed that it was engaging regional leaders over last week's disputed polls. Party leader, Nelson Chamisa has refused to accept defeat after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the largely controversial polls held on August 23 and 24.

A number of election observers have flagged the polls as not credible and failing to meet local, regional and international guidelines on  holding free, fair and credible elections.

The Sadc election observer mission issued a damning report, attracting angry outbursts from Harare, the ruling Zanu-PF party and its supporters.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, CCC deputy spokesperson Gift "Ostallos" Siziba said the party was pursuing all avenues including court processes to overturn the results.

"The only resolution and way forward articulated by CCC for the avoidance of doubt and confusion is that Zimbabwe needs a fresh and broad and proper election to exit the current crisis," Siziba said.

"Our answer to all Zimbabweans and Africans at large is that the solution lies in calling upon African brothers and those in the region, particularly Sadc and the African Union to help us to facilitate and more importantly to guarantee a process that will lead our return to legitimacy in the shortest period of time."

Zanu-PF has, however, dismissed claims that the polls were not free and fair. The party says it is preparing for Mnangagwa's inauguration.

Siziba, however, said Zec failed the credibility and transparency test.

"The course that we are going to take is a collective course that does not include [only] the CCC but includes every player that was affected," he said about challenging the election outcome in the courts.

"The CCC rejects the election in total, the solution from this crisis is a process that is scaffolded and guaranteed by Sadc and the AU."

On Monday, US State Department's Matthew Miller said the election was not free and fair citing an uneven playing field tilted against the opposition.

Miller also condemned the arrest of election observers from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the Election Resource Centre, saying this was an attempt to prevent them from exposing rigging.

"We call on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to make the disaggregated polling station results publicly available to increase confidence in the result tabulation process," Miller said.

"These arrests prevented efforts to independently verify Zec's announced results, a fundamental component of democratic processes in the region and around the world."

Miller said Washington was engaging Sadc over the Harare question.

"The US is engaging regional leaders to share our concerns, including what this means for the international community's nascent efforts to re-engage the Zimbabwean government."

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the Sadc leaders who have congratulated Mnangagwa for his controversial re-election.

Yesterday, a South African observer delegation led by Khazamula Lawrence Chabane, met Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, at the party offices and gave the polls a clean bill of health.

In his remarks, Chabane said: "We thought it was necessary to come and share some lessons we learnt as we were observing, our view is that elections went well, they were peaceful."

Chamisa has kept Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF guessing after pictures of a purported Constitutional Court application challenging the results emerged on social media.

Speculation has been rife that Chamisa will approach the court challenging the election results.

CCC secretary for legal affairs, Innocent Gonese, could neither confirm nor deny that Chamisa intended to file a court challenge.

Sources close to the judicial system said a high-level meeting had been held by the Judicial Service Commission following the leaking of the purported petition.

With the election results having been announced at midnight on Saturday, the clock is ticking and all eyes are on whether the opposition party will file its application within the stipulated period.

Chief registrar of the Constitutional Court Anita Tshuma could not be reached for comment.

Source - newsday