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I have reported ZEC to SADC: Chamisa

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it has written to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), urging the regional bloc to take action against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s administration of the country’s electoral processes.

CCC also said it was unfair for the government to deny Zimbabweans who were abroad the right to vote yet welcomed diaspora remittances from the same people, whose allocations had increased and broken records over the years.

Addressing party supporters in Bulawayo over the weekend at a rally, interim party leader, Nelson Chamisa, confirmed writing to SADC to express their concerns about ZEC’s lack of professionalism in electoral procedures.

“Let me talk about elections. You know that we have been having problems with ZEC.  ZEC has already proved that they are not capable of running the elections in this country. What do we need to do? I have already written to SADC. I am telling them enough is enough,” he said.

ZEC has been blamed for the low registration numbers in the country, with citizens and activists arguing it had failed to carry out its mandate of encouraging eligible citizens to register.

The commission is also accused of moving large batches of voters across polling stations, wards and constituencies without informing people as stipulated by Section 37A of the Electoral Act, which critics said was meant to disenfranchise voters while favouring the ruling Zanu PF.

Chamisa underscored that as an opposition party, they would reject flawed election results.

“We are not going to accept any election that is rigged, cheated and stolen. We are demanding a credible voters’ roll,” he said.

“Every person above 18 must be registered to be a voter. I say to (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa, we will not allow 2018 to be repeated. This time it will not happen, we will not allow rigging of elections. If you are planning my brother, you must know that enough is enough.”

The CCC leader said for the country’s election to be well-managed, they had to be supervised by an international body and suggested that this role be taken up by the United Nations.

“We are going to be lobbying for this because we have seen people in Zanu don’t believe in elections, but we are going to defeat them. In 2018 we defeated Mnangagwa but he refused and went to the court, this time we want to defeat him with a huge margin then they won’t be able to announce the vote and be unable to refuse the election result,” Chamisa said.

Chamisa also called for the diaspora vote saying Zimbabweans abroad had done a lot to sustain families back home so their right to vote was necessary.

“We need a credible voters’ roll and the right to vote for people in Zimbabwe including the diaspora vote. You can’t be taking Diaspora money from injiva (Zimbabwean based in South Africa) who are contributing a lot but you are not allowing them to vote. Let everyone vote and I want to take this opportunity to thank you injiva for what you have done,” he said.

In 2020, Diaspora remittances overtook foreign aid, as Zimbabweans abroad sent home over US$1 billion , which was the highest ever contribution made to the local economy, as reported by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

This surpassed the US$635.7 million in remittances received in 2019, exceeding projections made by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which had projected to receive US$940 million by year end.

In 2021, diaspora remittances jumped to US$1.4 billion from US$$1 billion in 2020, while the country reached a record high foreign currency inflow of US$9.7 billion during the same period, up from US$6.3 billion in 2020.

Reports said out of the US$9.7 billion, US$6.2 billion came from exports while US$1.4 billion was from remittances in 2021.

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