THE opposition CCC has filed a notice of appeal at the Electoral Court against the decision of the nomination court to accept parliamentary and local authority election candidates who were not on the party list.
The appeal was filed on Friday afternoon. This comes as it emerged that a shadowy Central Intelligence Organisation-run organisation, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (Faz), whose activities are coordinated by CIO deputy director-general Douglas Tapfumaneyi, influenced the filing of double — and in some cases triple candidates — to undermine the opposition.
An investigation by The NewsHawks has shown that Faz has seized control of electoral processes to aid President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to win the 23 August polls.
The fraudulent filing of nomination papers affected 15 constituencies in Harare, three constituencies in Bulawayo, one in Kariba, and one in Marondera.
Some wards were also affected in Harare, Bulawayo and Marondera. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was cited as the first respondent, while the persons nominated as double candidates in the parliamentary elections were also cited as respondents in case EC3/23. The CCC is seeking the following relief: “That the appeal is allowed. “That the declaration that 2nd and 18th respondents were duly nominated on behalf of the appellant is set aside. “That the costs shall be borne by any such party as resists the appeal and shall be so borne at the higher scale of legal practitioner and own client.”
In the application, the CCC highlighted that it had set out the terms of its objection to Zec, but the electoral body had not taken any corrective action. The letter was attached and marked “x”. In its ground of appeal, the CCC, through its lawyer Thabani Mpofu instructed by Harare lawyer Webster Jiti, argued that “the presiding officer erred in the law in declaring 2nd to 18th respondents to have been duly nominated on behalf of appellant when their names were not put forward by the appellant”.
In addition, the party said their nomination papers had in actual effect not been signed by the two designated office bearers of the appellant.
“The signatures appearing on the nomination papers of the 2nd and 18th respondents as those of the designated offices bearers were forged, and do not comport to the specimen signatures given first respondent by appellant,” the lawyers argued.
“The symbol used in the papers was forged and is not that of appellant as given to first respondent. “
A fortiori and the circumstances of the matter considered, the presiding officer erred in not proceeding in terms of section 46 (9) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2,13).
“The nomination papers presented by 2nd and 18th respondents having been fraudulent, the presiding officer erred in coming to the conclusion that such nomination papers were presented in terms of the law and had been validly completed.”
The respondents include Christmas Goremusandu (Sunningdale), Jonathan Machokoto (Mt Pleasant), Freddy Masarirevu (St Mary’s), Matika Energy Tanaka (Warren Park), Magweta George and Hasha Trouble (Harare South), Lloyd Sande (Hatcliffe), Griza Admire Adam (Hatfield) and Terrence Khumbula (Hunyani). Solomon Baramasimbe and Didymus Bande, who were nominated for Epworth South constituency, were also cited alongside Irvine Hatitye Nyaningwe (Harare Central), Malvin Razaru (Harare East), Farai Micheal Padzarondora (Harare West), Enock Nyashadzashe Chitoro (Chitungwiza North), Shepherd Kariramombe (Chitungwiza South and Tichaona Nyikadzino (Churu).
Similar action is being taken in Bulawayo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces. The CCC’s national and provincial designated office bearers on Thursday wrote to Zec chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana and provincial presiding/nomination officers informing them they had not counter-signed nomination forms for the candidates who were registered as double candidates.
They provided a list of bona fide candidates, but Zec has not taken corrective action. CCC leader Nelson Chamisa on Thursday took to Twitter to announce his party was vigorously tackling the issue of fake double candidates.
“A huge scam — manufactured CCC double candidates . . . Our teams have just been to ZEC to inspect the submitted nominations. It’s clear that the so-called ‘double candidates’ forged signatures and the CCC logo,” he said.
“Our CCC logo is embossed and not a photocopy as is the case with the ‘double candidates’. In addition, those nominations were not countersigned for by the designated officials of CCC. It’s clearly a sting operation!
“We will explore the remedies available at law which enjoin ZEC to resolve this matter. We are pursuing this remedy with immediacy and urgency necessary.” Spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said “a state-driven sting operation” has orchestrated the forgery of the party’s logo and signatures to illegally file papers for unapproved candidates.
“Anywhere where you see more than one CCC representative, only one of them was duly nominated by us and properly signed for,” she said.
An investigation by The NewsHawks published early this month has revealed that Faz has spread its tentacles to every ward in the country, collecting vital voters’ details right down to household level using an army of 5 910 information gatherers.
Faz is also controlling Zanu PF structures. The information gatherers — three in each of the country’s 1 970 wards — are working under the close supervision of their CIO handlers.
The well-orchestrated CIO strategy is designed to enable Zanu PF to control the electoral process in terms of structures, numbers of registered voters and the actual voting process, as well as polling stations.
It also promotes systematic voter intimidation and victimisation, especially at ward level. An operational Faz document titled Faz Campaign Scope, seen by The NewsHawks, says the organisation has penetrated all provinces up to household level through several tactics, leaving voters vulnerable to abuse during the 23 August elections.
“Once the party has access to the voters’ roll, preferably broken down to constituencies and even to polling stations, volunteers must keep in touch with registered voters through texting and phoning. This must be done almost intrusively, as a way of maintaining intimacy.
“Volunteers should be in the habit of checking on the health and well-being of voters as a way of showing the party’s and candidate’s concern. This can also be used for reminding voters of important election-related events and issues, while also keeping them up to date on key developments,” the document reads.
“Faz volunteers are required to intrusively access party cell registers, from party cell chairmen, and check and verify their accuracy and integrity. To this end, Faz then discretely conducts a head count of cell members, checking if they are registered to vote. If any party members or holders of positions of leadership are found not to have national documents or registered to vote, Faz, therefore, will handhold and assist all those to rectify the discrepancy under supervision. Volunteers were also tasked with administering voter education, assisting undocumented or aliens to acquire national registration documents and to register to vote.
“These interventions, which are already taking place in all constituencies nationwide, should result in a significant surge in registered voters who attribute that achievement to President ED (Mnangagwa) and Zanu PF. Volunteers must maintain contact with people they would have assisted to register to vote or to acquire national documents so that they are not won over to the opposition’s poisonous narratives,” the document reads.
Critical information being collected by the agents and informers includes names, addresses, identity numbers and voter registration details at polling station level.
Faz is also counting people at household level before recording the information on their tablets and smartphones.
The information which will be computed, condensed into data and processed will be crucial in influencing and manipulating the electoral process in favour of Zanu PF through a combination of tactics, including persuasion and intimidation, in some cases.
It is also being used to predict potential outcomes, using real figures, so that Zanu PF knows which constituencies and wards to put campaign resources in or activate its coercive machinery.