CCC says Cyclone Freddy disrupting voter registration blitz in Manicaland
Remnants of Cyclone Freddy drenched some eastern parts of the country and disrupted the ongoing voter registration blitz, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said.
In Malawi, the heavy rains that triggered floods and mudslides, killed more than 220 people and caused extensive damage to infrastructure and homes. Power and communications are said to be still down in many affected areas, and an estimated 19,000 people have been displaced.
The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) this week warned the public to be wary of possible lightning strikes and to avoid parking vehicles under trees citing that torrential rains were looming.
The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) stated that Nyanga received 102mm, Mukandi 97mm and Chisengu 83mm as a result of the moisture stemming from the now crumbling Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Thursday, CCC deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyedenga cited a number of challenges prospective voters are facing while trying to register to vote.
She said the cyclone had equally disturbed the process in Manicaland Province by creating impassable flooded rivers.
“In Manicaland areas like Chimanimani and Mutare were affected by intermittent rainfall caused by cyclone Fred causing unprecedented down times and impassable flooded rivers like Haroni, Nyahode, Mhakwe and Umvumvu also affected voter registrations,” she said.
CCC also cited alleged intimidation of prospective voters by a Zanu-PF aligned organization called Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).
“We have noted some incidents of intimidation by a ZANU PF aligned organization named FAZ deployed in all registration centres.
“FAZ whose mandate is to take personal voter information on behalf of ZANU PF, is taking photos of registrants and forcibly confiscating their voter registration slips in full view of the police and ZEC officials, for example, in Mbare, Mabvuku, Glenview and Mbizo in Kwekwe,” Shiriyedenga said.
The opposition also cited late starting and Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.
“On the first day, in some areas, registration started way after stipulated time which is 7am, in Glenlorne ZEC started around 10am and at Glenview 6 they started registering people around 1400hrs on the first day. Any time lost should be compensated by adding on.
“In some areas the officers were overwhelmed by long queues resulting in prospective registrants being turned away for example in Epworth, Mbare, Glenview and Hatfield,” CCC said.
The country is set to hold elections later this year.
Speaking at the same platform, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party was ready for elections.