Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. CCC says it is engaging regional and international bodies to ensure that there is long-term monitoring of the whole electoral process in Zimbabwe leading to the polling day.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare on Thursday, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party will not continue “sitting back and complaining” but rather take action to ensure that the 2023 elections are free and fair. Mahere said:
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.
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.
CCC members such as MPs Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) have been in remand prison for over a month facing charges of incitement to violence.
Mahere expressed confidence in SADC’s ability to effectively monitor elections in member states citing its role in Zambia and Malawi. She said:
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.
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.
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.