THE Citizens’ Coalition for Change nomination process degenerated into chaotic scenes of violence and disruption in some constituencies amid fears of imposition of candidates, although the party says it has brought the situation under control.
In Harare’s Warren Park, the incumbent MP Shakespeare Hamauswa, drove off with members of the panel that were supposed to have oversight over the process after insults were exchanged by contending groups.
Other members of the party who were vying for the post of MP, Pride Mkono, Kudzai Kadzere and Paddington Japajapa claim that their support base was missing from the street point person registers that were compiled at the rebranding of Citizens’ Coalition for Change from MDC Alliance.
Videos on social media show an angry Japajapa exchanging words with an unidentified man while Mkono negotiated with members of the panel that was supposed to provide oversight over the process.
The process for the constituency’s candidate selection process was abandoned. In Glen Norah, also in Harare, vocal party youth Womberaiishe Nhende was assaulted by a group of thugs aligned to former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba.
In Dzivaresekwa, there are reports that the process failed to kick off due to logistical problems. In Harare Central, supporters of Gladys Hlatywayo clashed with those of incumbent MP Murisi Zwizwai.
Despite widespread videos of these chaotic scenes, there were other areas were the process proceeded fairly well.
Party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on Thursday addressed the issues in a Press briefing a day after the process. She downplayed the chaos, saying the incidents were isolated.
“There were a few teething problems in limited areas, however safeguards were swiftly put in place to ensure the process remains transparent, fair and robust,” she said.
“The cases, as I indicated at the start of the presser, every citizen’s complaint has been forwarded to the commission which is going to be dealt with independently to ensure that there are safeguards in place to ensure that the process is transparent. There is no room whatsoever for violence,” she added.
Mahere says if any candidates are found guilty of having perpetrated or participated in violent acts, they will be disqualified from the process.
“Wherever a person is fingered and found to have participated in a violent incident, responsible for it, that person will be automatically disqualified because violence is not in the DNA of the CCC; violence is a Zanu PF culture and we will not tolerate any violence whatsoever,” said Mahere.
Mahere added that apart from internal problems their process was hampered by poor road networks.
“There were also logistical challenges in limited areas again caused by our poor road network which made the 36 000 villages that I made reference to very difficult to access. We obviously had challenges with erratic telephone network issues all of which are obviously testament to the dilapidated state of the nation,” she said.
The independent commission appointed by the party said they are still compiling and validating nominations from all over the country, but at the time of the presser they had only done less than five constituencies.
“The few challenges are that for example the wards are too many as was said by Fadzayi about 1900 wards in the country. So, it will take time to validate all the nominations but so far, we have validated a few constituencies which I am going to share with you, for example here in Harare we are done with Harare West where we have MP nominees, Vongai Tome and Joana Mamombe, for Bindura South, Mp nominees we have George Gwarada, Moses Mafara and Sidney Mapemha, for Mabvuku MP nominees we have got Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi and James Chidhakwa then constituency for Mt Darwin nominees Reason Gura, Godfrey Chaita and Ian Madziva,” said Shepherd Ngandu who was representing the commission. Party members and the nation will have to wait until after the holidays for the remainder of the results.
“We will continue with the process, we will then also release names as and when they become available, so far these are the names that are available,” said Ngandu.