‘Our choice not to be violent must not be mistaken for weakness’ – CCC
The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has accused Zanu-PF of orchestrating the recent political violence against their members adding that their “choice not to be violent must not be mistaken for weakness”.
Political violence is happening at a time when the country is preparing for the 2023 harmonised general elections.
Last Sunday, violent clashes erupted on Sunday in Matobo South ward 2 with CCC accusing Zanu-PF of attacking them with guns and several weapons.
Vehicles belonging to CCC’s Angilacala Ndlovu and proportional representation legislator Jasmine Toffa were damaged, some beyond repair as alleged Zanu-PF thugs poured sand into the car engines.
In Filabusi, CCC candidate for ward 4 Insiza South, Augustine Gumede said he spent three days in the bush after his house was attacked.
Addressing journalists about the incident in Harare on Monday afternoon, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere accused Zanu-PF of attacking opposition members.
She added that the party had submitted a dossier to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) full of evidence against Zanu-PF.
“As the CCC, we are extremely concerned about the escalation of violence throughout the country. What happened in Matobo yesterday is a pattern of conduct by Zanu PF. We have written to regional actors.
“As we speak, a dossier of all the political violence that has been perpetrated by Zanu PF since our inception and even before that is before the Southern Africa Development Community. We have formally communicated with them and other African unions,” she said.
“We continue to call for civic societies and international bodies to put in place long-term election monitoring mechanisms. We have engaged those who we need to engage in that respect and the world is watching. We cannot have another disputed election in 2023.”
Mahere further stated that CCC chose not to be violent, but ‘not as a sign of weakness’.
“We want an election and not war. We condemn the outright lawlessness of Zanu PF with impunity. Our choice not to be violent must not be mistaken for weakness. We call for an end to the political violence that we are witnessing in all parts of the country.
“The use of guns in politics must end. This is not a normal election period. No institution has the power to take away the citizens’ right to vote. We will participate in these elections. We won despite these odds in the by-elections.
“We are going to push for these reforms but even if they are not there, we are going to participate because the constitutional right to vote can’t be taken away from the people.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday issued a statement saying both Zanu-PF and CCC had reported the case of violence in Matobo. The law enforcement organisation said it was investigating the matter.
“The police are seized with reports of violent skirmishes which occurred in Matobo on October 16, 2022. Reports of assault and violence have been received from both Zanu PF and CCC members. Investigations are now in progress for all suspects involved in violence,” read the statement.
This is not the first time the opposition party accused its rivals of political violence.
Last year, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa claimed that he survived an assassination attempt in Mutare after his convoy was shot at by suspected Zanu-PF thugs. He reported the case to the police.