CCC Orders Candidate Selection Process Re-runs Following Vote Buying and Violence Allegations

April 8, 2023
| Report Focus News
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa addresses a rally in Harare, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. Chamisa drew thousands of people at his first political rally since forming a new party weeks ago, as the country gears for elections that had been postponed due to COVID-19.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has ordered re-runs of the candidate selection process in several constituencies following allegations of violence and improper conduct by some incumbent councillors and Members of Parliament (MPs). The CCC had employed a community consensus candidate selection model, but the process was marred by a series of incidents that forced the party to take action.

According to sources close to the developments in the CCC, re-runs have been ordered for Kuwadzana, Glenview South, and Epworth North, following acts of violence between supporters. They reportedly failed to agree on the way forward following the presentation of a register that had been expected to aid in candidate nomination.

In Glen Norah, former Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba was accused of manhandling a party youth whom he thought wanted to challenge for “his” council post. The incident was recorded by the Election Resource Centre (ERC), which further highlighted the matter.

In Warren Park, the current MP, Shakespear Hamauswa, was accused of dishing out between US$3 and US$5 at centers where he sought nomination. The allegations follow a chaotic attempt at candidate selection in the high-density suburb when the process was eventually abandoned. Officials tried to use “unknown registers,” leading to scuffles that forced the abandonment of the selection.

Realizing that Warren Park had not managed to nominate a candidate, Hamauswa then bundled officials tasked with recording nominations into his vehicle and sped off to Mufakose, where he was eventually nominated. Similar accusations have arisen in Chitungwiza.

The CCC’s community consensus candidate selection model was intended to be a smoother process than internal elections, but the incidents of violence and improper conduct have prompted the party to order re-runs. The re-runs are set to take place on Monday.

The CCC’s decision to order re-runs is seen as an effort to restore confidence in the candidate selection process and to ensure that the party’s chosen candidates are selected in a fair and transparent manner. It remains to be seen whether the re-runs will be successful and whether they will be free from the allegations of violence and improper conduct that marred the initial candidate selection process.