By KETTY NYONI
WITH Zimbabwe now in election mode ahead of next year’s general polls, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has called for peaceful campaigns to ensure the outcomes are not disputed.
Addressing the media in Harare yesterday, CCC deputy national spokesperson Ostallos Siziba bemoaned the upsurge in cases of violence around the country, which he said had a bearing on the behaviour and conduct of ordinary Zimbabweans towards elections.
“The major trend that the CCC is worried about is the surging of politically-motivated violence in different parts of the country, which has a huge bearing in terms of the outcome of the 2023 elections.
“We have seen attacks on CCC members, not only political activists, but also on members of the media, lawyers, and MPs.
“I will draw in a particular case, the arrest of our MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole, and more importantly the death of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali,” Siziba said.
This comes as the two legislators are currently in jail pending the finalisation of their cases in which they are charged with inciting public violence.
The charges emanate from the clashes that ensued between Zanu PF and CCC supporters in the aftermath of Ali’s murder in Chitungwiza’s Nyatsime area last month.
Siziba alleged there was a deliberate criminalisation of his party’s yellow colour, especially in the rural areas.
“It is unfortunate that despite the prevailing election mode, the political playing field is continuously deteriorating and the state of preparedness in terms of elections administration is a cause of concern.
“The upsurge in incidents of violence, threats and intimidation is stifling the free, fair, and peaceful electoral environment.”
He called upon authorities with a mandate to prevent political violence to act accordingly.
“We demand that the minister of Home Affairs and the police commissioner general act impartially on all cases of violence and we are raising a formal complaint to these government institutions
“We further demand that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and Human Rights Commission uphold their constitutional mandate to prevent incidents of violence and make recommendations for prosecution of identified culprits.
“These commissions are challenged to establish district and provincial structures to monitor all cases of violence
“Any further deterioration of the political environment will invite the engagement of regional, continental and international organisations to raise a red flag on the political environment ahead of the elections.”
In his address, Siziba also made yet another call to Zanu PF for political dialogue, which he said had the potential of bringing stability to the country.
“The demand for a dialogue is because we are pushing the envelope of conversation, the envelope of peace and stability. If there is no conversation on what must happen, it has a bearing on the future stability of this country.
“This is not about Zanu PF not being politically interested, it’s about the people of Zimbabwe and we believe that for the purposes of stability in this country there must be conversation, being the reason why we are engaging partners in the region and progressive Africans, so that they help us in this particular process,” he added. – Daily News