Zimbabwe’s main opposition party calls for re-election over flawed process
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Zimbabwe has demanded a new national election, rejecting Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the August 23rd vote. Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party was declared the winner, with the incumbent president securing 52.6% of the vote compared to CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.
However, several election observer missions preliminarily concluded the electoral process was problematic and skewed against the CCC. The party’s meetings were banned, members arrested, and access to ballot papers restricted. CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba said at a press conference this week that the entire process was flawed. Thousands were unable to vote due to issues with voter registration and intimidation, he claimed.
Siziba argued only a fresh election overseen by an independent, private entity chosen by the Southern Africa Development Community and African Union could address the situation. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must be dissolved for failing to run the polls impartially, in his view. When asked if the CCC would pursue a recount, Siziba maintained ZEC could not be trusted and an international body was needed.
Problems cited included a delimitation exercise seen as unfair and intimidation of voters and officials. The CCC activist said ballot materials arrived late in opposition strongholds on election day, contributing to the problems. While a court challenge was rumoured, Siziba focused on calls for SADC and AU involvement in facilitating a free and fair redo of the previously held election.