Zanu PF polling agents paid from CIO offices, exposing election rigging
By Simbarashe Mtembo | Masvingo Mirror |
MASVINGO – Zanu PF polling agents in Gutu have allegedly received their allowances from the CIO offices at Mpandawana in the clearest indication that the ruling party’s 2023 election project was run by State arms.
The international community has condemned Zimbabwe’s harmonized elections as rigged and a sham.
Analysts who spoke to The Mirror said the incident was not surprising because State arms are captured and there is conflation between Zanu PF and the State.
After being alerted by members of the public, Mirror reporters drove to the CIO offices next to Gutu Police Station this morning and found hundreds of polling agents and some FAZ members from four Gutu constituencies namely Gutu Central, South, East and West gathered there.
CIO Director General, Isaac Moyo said he was not aware of the issue when called for comment by The Mirror.
“I have no knowledge of it,” he said and cut off the call.
“We received our allowances from these offices a few days after elections. Today we were called on short notice and told to sign papers to confirm the receipts because there are allegations that some of us were shortchanged and did not receive the money,” said one of the agents to The Mirror.
The agents expressed disappointment that they were summoned to the CIO offices but were not given money for transport and food.
“Now that the elections are over, these people are starting to abuse us. They called us here but they are not giving us money for transport or food,” said another agent.
Opposition parties, in particular CCC complained that the CIO through a shadowy organization called Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) was in charge of running the elections and had taken control of the Zimbabwe Electoral Authority (ZEC).
FAZ caused havoc in Gutu District where the elections were heavily rigged as more evidence is emerging.
Presiding officers and in particular school heads who are members of Teachers4ED have been accused of masterminding the manipulation of election figures and harassing CCC agents and candidates at the polling stations.
CCC deputy spokesperson, Gift Siziba said the international community refused to endorse the harmonized elections because they noticed the State’s conflation with Zanu PF hence the elections were run by the ruling party.
“This election was run by FAZ not ZEC that is why all observer missions refused to endorse it. This also shows the conflation between Zanu PF and the State,” said Siziba.
Zimbabwe NGO Forum acting director, Wilfred Mandinde said the State should never be involved in political party business. He said the development where the CIO is carrying out financial transactions on behalf of a political party is shocking.
“We have seen arms of the State acting like paramilitaries of Zanu PF. This has to stop,” said Mandinde.
The Mirror was told that Zanu PF chief gents received allowances of US$200, roving agents US$160 and ordinary agents US$120. Zanu PF boasted before the elections that it had millions to spend on the plebiscite.
Gutu District probably suffered the most as it was harassed by FAZ operatives. Dozens of opposition supporters were jailed for merely exchanging words with FAZ. They only won their freedom after paying hefty fines.
CCC Gutu West candidate, Ephraim Murudu who is also a war veteran was fined US$300 which had to be paid immediately for an incident with a FAZ girl.