The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has announced that any candidate involved in violence during the selection process on Wednesday will be disqualified from participating in the party’s candidate selection process. Fadzayi Mahere, the party’s national spokesperson, strongly denounced the violence and stated that those responsible or involved in violence will not be allowed to take part in the selection process. The party plans to carefully vet candidates and consult with community stakeholders to gather their recommendations on candidates.
Mahere stated at a press conference in Harare on Thursday that citizen caucuses will be held, where citizens will be informed about their candidates and asked for their preferences. However, according to a report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), violence was witnessed by monitors in Glen View, Harare, and Zengeza West constituency in Chitungwiza during the selection process.
Reports of violence also plagued the ZANU PF primaries held last week, leading the party to order re-runs in areas where violence was observed. Zimbabwe has a history of violent elections, with intimidation, harassment, and physical violence directed towards opposition members, human rights activists, and others. Reports of state-sponsored violence and restrictions on freedoms have also cast doubts on the fairness and credibility of the electoral process.
While there have been some improvements in recent years, Zimbabwe has witnessed violence both between different political parties (interparty) and within the same party (intraparty). The 2013 and 2018 elections saw fewer reports of violence and intimidation than before, although some incidents were still reported.
The CCC’s decision to disqualify candidates involved in violence demonstrates the party’s commitment to a peaceful and fair electoral process. It is hoped that other parties will follow suit and take measures to prevent violence and ensure that the upcoming elections are free and fair.