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Senior officials from Zimbabwe’s main opposition party have accused a shadowy Zanu PF-linked group of infiltrating their candidate list for next month’s elections.
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) claims Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), a group founded by a Central Intelligence Organisation deputy director, paid the nomination fees for “fraudulent candidates” posing as genuine CCC members in at least 22 constituencies.
CCC deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyedenga said the party had uncovered a coordinated campaign to confuse voters after discovering discrepancies in nomination papers submitted to the electoral commission.
“The fraudulent candidates literally photocopied our letterhead and pasted that as their party symbol, at complete variance with what we submitted ourselves,” she said.
Shiriyedenga accused nomination courts of “failing to exercise due diligence,” allowing bogus candidates to sneak through. Some were known Zanu PF activists seen wearing ruling party regalia on social media.
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But Zanu PF denied the allegations, dismissing them as excuses for CCC’s “disorganization.”
The CCC has taken legal action and reported the matter to police, demanding evidence from the electoral commission.
The controversy has cast doubt on the integrity of Zimbabwe’s electoral process, with more than 20 questionable CCC candidates still on the ballot. Observers say it reveals Zanu PF’s desperation and underhanded tactics to undermine the opposition ahead of crucial elections.
The question remains: will authorities act decisively to purge potential spoilers from candidate lists, or allow Zanu PF’s ‘moles’ to undermine the opposition from within?