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CCC submits election dossier to international community ahead of polls

Zimbabwe’s main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has reportedly submitted a dossier of information to the international community “so that they know what is taking place” ahead of the 2023 harmonised general elections.

CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere told a press conference on Thursday that they were lobbying the international community to ensure that there is long-term monitoring of the election playing field in Zimbabwe before the actual election day.

She highlighted that members of the opposition were currently being “incarcerated, shot, abducted and persecuted” further pointing that democracy was already being undermined before the plebiscite.

This comes at a time when 13 CCC members including two MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole are jailed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison over ‘frivolous’ charges of inciting public violence.

They were arrested at the funeral wake of murdered CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

Against this background, Mahere argues that the electoral environment was not level hence the party submitted a dossier to the international community detailing the situation.

“We want to assure the citizens that we have lobbied, (that) we continue to lobby both the Southern African Development Community and the African Union on these issues,” Mahere said.

“There is a need for long-term monitoring of the election playing field. There is no point in coming before election day to try and assist with the voting environment when during the period preceding the elections, our members were being incarcerated, shot, abducted and persecuted.”

She added: “We have sharpened our approach significantly since the 2018 elections. We took very important lessons, and even in these March by-elections, this has informed our engagement with the international community, particularly regional bodies around the electoral processes that are going to take place in Zimbabwe,” Mahere said.

“We ensured that we have a dossier of information that we gave them so that they know what is taking place. You are aware that there has been a shift in approach by the regional bodies on how they manage elections. We saw what SADC did in Zambia and Malawi and what it continues to do in other countries.”

Mahere further stated that the party’s polling agents were ready to monitor electoral processes against manipulation and intimidation.

“Our polling agents are ready to identify traditional leaders who would be intimidating citizens. We are not sitting back and complaining, feeling sorry for ourselves. We do have strategies in place, but that does not take away the constitutional obligation of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to monitor these events to ensure that all parties comply with the code of conduct,” she said.

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