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'CCC chaos to fuel voter apathy'

by Staff reporter
19 Feb 2024 at 04:55hrs | Views
AN electoral watchdog, the Zimbabwe Election Advocacy Trust (ZEAT), has said the chaos and splits within the main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), is a recipe for voter apathy.

The recent resignation of Nelson Chamisa from the CCC has left many supporters and observers questioning the future of the party and its ability to effectively challenge Zanu-PF in future elections.

ZEAT executive director Ignatious Sadziwa told NewsDay that suspense and uncertainty surrounding Chamisa's next move could further erode confidence in the opposition and lead to voter disengagement.

"It is prudent that the new political outfit moves with speed to reinvigorate its support base. The electoral season is short, and with 2028 looming, the opposition has a lot of ground to cover," Sadziwa said.

"Key among the challenges facing the opposition is the need to recruit new members and ensure voter registration, particularly among young people who make up a significant portion of the electorate. However, fears of voter apathy are growing considering the disturbances and infighting within the main opposition factions."

Recently, CCC supporters, who voted for their representatives in August 2023 harmonised elections, said they felt betrayed following the abrupt resignations.

 "The prospect of more by-elections, especially if sitting CCC MPs and councillors' side with Chamisa and resign from government, could further exacerbate the situation. These by-elections will serve as a litmus test for Chamisa's anticipated party, provided they will have put their house in order by then," added Sadziwa.

The recent by-elections were marred by voter apathy, with an average turnout of 22,1%.

An analysis by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) said this month's by-elections were also marred by an increase in rejected votes, signalling voter fatigue or protest.

In its analysis, Zesn said Goromonzi South recorded 369 rejected votes, Seke (313), Zvimba East (262), Pelandaba-Tshabalala (212), Chegutu West (191) and Mkoba North with 185. The same trend was witnessed across all constituencies during the December 9 by-elections, it said.

According to section 129(1)(b) of the Constitution, a seat in Parliament becomes vacant once a legislator resigns through a written notice to the President of the Senate or to the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Legislators Fadzayi Mahere (Mt Pleasant), Allan "Rusty" Markham (Harare East), Brian James (Mutare Central) and Daniel Molokele (Hwange Central) have resigned as lawmakers after Chamisa ditched the party.

Source - newsday
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