Spooked by vote-buying claims, CCC pushes for electoral reforms

After coming face to face with what it called brazen vote-buying allegedly by Zanu PF, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has reiterated its demands for electoral reforms.

This is despite the opposition party winning the two seats up for grabs at the weekend by-elections held in Chipinge Rural District Council’s Ward 16 and Ward 5 in Kariba municipality.

In Chipinge, CCC’s Rephias Sithole polled 1,291 votes against Gladys Muposhi of Zanu PF who garnered 1,202.

In Kariba, CCC’s Tonderai Chikwati received 303 ballots while the Zanu PF candidate polled 175.

The Nelson Chamisa-led opposition is accusing ZANU-PF of dishing out cash between US$5 and US$20 in an attempt to influence voters.

In a statement by the party’s National Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, some of the voters were also forced to take pictures of their marked ballot paper as proof that they had voted for the ruling party.

“We note with concern numerous electoral irregularities that were reported by our polling agents who ably manned all voting stations. In Kariba, there were numerous episodes of vote buying by ZANU PF which was giving away cash ranging from US$5 to US$20 in exchange for votes on voting day.

Our intelligence team identified homes where money was being disbursed to persons who were said to have voted for ZANU PF. Our polling agents promptly reported these incidents resulting in the bases being dismantled. In the lead up to voting day, voters were given hampers, sweets, new curriculum schools textbooks and other trinkets in exchange for voters,” Mahere wrote.

Mahere further accused ZANU -PF thugs of forcing voters in Chipinge to say they could not vote and instructed them to pose as “assisted voters”

“They were forced to take pictures of their ballot slips. Those who had voted are being interrogated about who they voted for. Our polling agents made a formal complaint to ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission),” Mahere said.

Mahere also said her party demanded from ZEC seven reforms as a minimum pre-requisite to the holding of the upcoming 2023 elections free and fair.

Among these demands are for ZEC to give full effect to the right to vote, A credible voters’ role, A real-time and credible results management system.

CCC also demanded a secure polling material and personnel, Access to media and political reforms, Security of the vote as well as Security of the voter.

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