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CCC claims rigging after losing council seats in Nyanga and Mberengwa

The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of rigging after losing in by-elections held in Nyanga and Mberengwa over the weekend.

Zanu-PF on Saturday won two of the contested Rural District Council seats in Nyanga and Mberengwa. The seats became vacant after the deaths of Zanu PF councillors Collins Matongo and Ravasingadi Zhou.

Nyanga Ward 27, Simon Nyazenga of Zanu-PF garnered 376 while Artwell Taurai Tichiwangani  of CCC got 123, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced.

In Mberengwa Ward 15 Albenias Nkonzo garnered 765 while Cornias Dhongijena of CCC got 165.

But CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere claimed that Zanu-PF managed to win through voter manipulation, intimidation and threats.

“We’ve consistently said that each by-election is a dry run for 2023. We’re keenly aware of the assisted voting, political violence, banning of CCC meetings and voter intimidation that take place in Mberengwa and Nyanga.

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“Zanu-PF will never win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe,” Mahere posted on her official Twitter page on Monday.

“We’ve begun our post-mortem review of these elections to examine how to sharpen our response to electoral manipulation in these areas. We have a model of how to win rural elections that has worked in places like Binga and Bulilima which we are scaling across the country.

“As we work on the heavy lifting to ensure a big win in 2023, we continue to push hard for electoral reforms as we strengthen our mass mobilization program. We must register to vote, turn out to vote in our millions and defend the vote so we win Zimbabwe for change in 2023.

“As always, we thank the brave citizens who did turn out to vote CCC despite the odds. We value your commitment to the struggle and your courage in the face of adversity.”

Last month, CCC launched an electoral reform blueprint dubbed Pre-Election Pact on Electoral Reforms (PREPARE) ahead of 2023 elections.

The main opposition party proposed among other reforms, universal suffrage allowing the right to vote, credibility of the voters roll, realtime and credible results and transmission system.

CCC also called for integrity of election processes, political freedoms, media access, security of the vote and the voter.