Mayhem at Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition elections
Former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) Chairman Peter Mutasa has been elected Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) chairperson in elections marred by rigging allegations.
Mutasa was voted into office following a Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Harare on Wednesday, in which voters raised alarm over inappropriate voters roll verification and internet blackouts during the online voting process.
The AGM saw Busi Dube voted CiCZ vice chairperson, Obert Masaraure spokesperson and Gamuchirai Mukura treasurer.
National Coordinator for Youth Environmental Management and Protection Trust (YEMPT), Pride Mukono who took part in the voting process, described the elections as an affront to democracy adding that its outcome is illegitimate.
CiCZ is a coalition that houses more than 50 civic society organisations.
“Firstly, the Election Resource Centre as the elections body failed to conduct a proper verification of the voters roll as required the Constitution of CiZC. These ineligible members were allowed to vote even after members had raised concerns. Secondly, members in good standing were denied access to the voting platform and were kept in the waiting room even after members in the platform raised these concerns,” Mukono said.
“Thirdly and more worrying, the Elections Control Room internet suddenly switched off for five minutes while voting had been concluded. At that point manipulation went into over drive as a second device accessed the the voting link and sudden Peter Mutasa who was at 40% of the votes was ahead at 53%,” Mukono further alleged.
“The massive rigging is worse than the excel spreadsheet used by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. It is repugnant and embarrassing more so that Solomon Bobosibunu was denying genuine members access to the zoom platform. This is a sham which must be contested at political and legal level.”
“To all the vigilant members of the Coalition remain steadfast, Peter Mutasa is not our Chairperson and we will make it clear. Thank you all for the support as we enter a new phase of the struggle against oligarchs who want to continue mismanaging the affairs of the Coalition. To Mr. Mutasa it must be clear to you as daylight that you are illegitimate and we will indict you from acting in any capacity as Chair of the Coalition,” Mukono said.
The election which was due to take place last year in December was disrupted after some disruptive individuals stormed the Annual General Meeting which was being held at local hotel in Bulawayo, as internal infighting reached fever pitch.
The violence and mayhem left some members injured.
A member of CiCZ who spoke on condition of anonymity said the alleged manipulation of the elections had left a dent on an a coalition that advocates for free and fair elections.
CiCZ was formed in August of 2001 with focus on democracy, human rights, good governance and sustainable development issues.