Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says party lawyers have encountered a hurdle in their pursuit of justice over individuals who filed their nomination papers to contest in the upcoming elections without party approval.

Speaking at a press conference held in Harare on Wednesday, Ellen Shiriyedenga, CCC Deputy Secretary for Elections said criminal charges against the fraudulent candidates had been stalled by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

“These fraudulent candidates literally photocopied our letterhead on bond paper and pasted that as their party symbol in complete variance with our what we submitted ourselves. Even the Bulawayo one, their symbol had actually a yellow background yet our official symbol had a black background.

“With that we felt the nomination courts did not exercise due diligence in terms of scrutinizing these papers. We wrote to ZEC on the 24th of June highlighting that concern, the response from ZEC was to the effect that as far as they are concerned, they did not see any reason to believe that those persons were not duly sponsored by the party. Resultantly we have taken our issues to court and we have laid criminal charges which was reported at the law and order by Cllr Ian Makone.

“What we are being by our lawyers in that regard is that what’s currently stalling progress in respect to the criminal charges is that ZEC is yet to submit the exhibits being the nomination papers that were filed by these fraudulent candidates. Our lawyers are working on it and we are waiting for ZEC and law and order to revert to us,” said Shiriyedenga.

As part of their own internal investigation, Shiriyedenga said the party had found evidence of coordinated double candidature, implicating the Zanu PF linked Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).

“As a party we did our own internal investigations and you can tell is that clearly this double candidature issue is well coordinated. Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ) is involved in terms of sponsoring these candidates, even if you look at some of them you can clearly tell that they cannot afford to pay US$1000 that they paid as the nomination fees and we did our investigations and we are hearing that FAZ paid them. FAZ actually tried to convince some of our colleagues in the CCC to stand as double candidates some refused but some fell for it and were part of our processes and did not make it.

The opposition party accused certain candidates of being staunch supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party.

“The second category of these fraudulent candidates is that of some people who are known staunch Zanu PF supporters, I can cite for example in Chitungwiza North there is one Nyashadzashe Chitoro and also, we have Christmas Goremusandu who is contesting in Sunningdale, those are known Zanu PF activists.

“Even if you go to their Facebook or Twitter profiles, they will be putting on Zanu PF regalia although some have pulled them down. Those were not our members and even if you go to the database of our Citizens Independent Selection Panel (CISP) that conducted our candidate selection processes they were not part of the process, so this is how fraudulent they were,” added Shiriyedenga. — 263Chat

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