SATURDAY’s by-elections could be reduced to a sham after it emerged Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) polling agents are withdrawing their participation after receiving unspecified threats.
CCC deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyendenga claimed their polling agents are pulling out due to fear after having been intimidated by suspected Zanu PF activists and traditional leaders in rural areas.
Shiriyedenga said the rate at which some polling agents are pulling out was worrisome.
“We are getting a worrying trend with regards to our polling agents. Particularly you go to Marondera East, Murewa South and also Mwenezi South, where we are having our polling agents being intimidated to an extent that some actually withdrew out of fear and that culture of fear is going unabated,” Shiriyedenga said.
“So we are saying the responsible bodies, do the right thing,” she.
CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere also said that there have been reports of bribes and fear being instilled in citizens with their political rivals.
“We do not want any illegal conduct at polling stations. We have received reports already of threats being made by certain traditional leaders who are acting unlawfully in a partisan manner. We have heard threats of intimidation. We have heard reports that names are going to be taken down and follow ups will be made on them. That simply has to stop,” Mahere said.
“Traditional leaders have to be the security of the vote and the voter,” Mahere added.
“Our elections directorate, which is headed up by councillor Ian Makone and his deputy Ellen Shiriyedenga are working round the clock to ensure polling agents are deployed in every single one of the wards and constituencies where there will be a by-election tomorrow,” Mahere postulated.