CCC condemns Zanu-PF officials for response to SADC election observer mission

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has condemned the conduct of Zanu-PF officials for their response to the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) Head of Delegation, Dr Nevers Mumba.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday in Harare, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi said the report issued by SEOM on the country’s elections resonates with the party’s assessments.

Dr Mumba said the polls fell below the regional and international standards for democratic elections.

In response, Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa “called him to order” accusing him of delving into matters outside the observing mandate.

“Dr Mumba’s unwavering commitment to ensuring transparency during the elections was met with threats, including death threats and intimidation especially from Zanu-PF officials and supporters. Such actions undermine democracy, and we condemn these acts unequivocally,” Mkhwananzi said.

“Election observer missions raised and confirmed a series of electoral malpractices which resonate with our own assessments. These include the absence of electoral reforms, a flawed and controversial delimitation process, misuse of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) to curtail freedom of assembly and selective application of restrictions including the banning of opposition rallies.

“Recent amendment of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, abuse of state resources, exorbitant nomination fees, concern over the judiciary independence, ZEC’s perceived lack of independence and transparency, absence of transparent voter’s roll, reports of violence including the loss of Tinashe Chitsunge and alleged intimidation by such entities as FAZ.”

In its report, SEOM highlighted that they had observed abuse of MOPA to infringe on the freedom of expression.

“The Mission noted the controversy emanating from MOPA which sets out a process for notifying ZRP of the intention to hold a campaign activity. In this respect, there were stakeholder concerns about the right to freedom of assembly for election campaign purposes, whereupon the CCC reported that their rallies were being subjected to unreasonable cancellation by ZRP,” the report read.

“We also noted reports that there was inconsistent application of the notice period for election campaign gatherings with certain political parties stating that the ZRP required a seven-day notice instead of the three-day notice that is applicable during election periods in accordance section 7(1)(b)(ii) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act.”

The CCC called on the government to take steps to address the concerns raised by the SEOM and other election observer missions.

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