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CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba has accused ruling Zanu PF of turning voting in Zimbabwe into a life-or-death issue using coercive measures that include abductions, torture and murder.
His statement comes a day after the alleged abduction and murder of a key member of his party’s campaign team, Tapfumaneyi Masaya.
Masaya was abducted on Saturday while conducting door-to-door campaigns for CCC’s Mabvuku Constituency by-election candidate Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi.
Kufahakutizwi will be contesting Zanu PF’s monied Scott Sakupwanya in a rerun of August’s poll following his recall from Parliament by Sengezo Tshabangu who claims to be CCC’s Interim Secretary General.
Siziba told journalists voting for CCC was now a life-threatening act, giving evidence of the recent murder of another one of their members Nyasha Zhambe who was reportedly killed before Gutu’s recent by-election.
“The recent murders of our change champions including Mboneni Ncube, Zhambe in Gutu, Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime and Tafadzwa Chitsunge in Glenview cast a dark cloud on our nation in the post-election environment,” said Siziba.
“There have been numerous cases of abduction and torture targeting our MPs and Councillors. Takudzwa Ngadziore, the youngest MP was abducted in broad daylight by gun-toting men, former legislator James Chidhakwa was also abducted by these men who are walking scot-free.
“Womberaiishe Nhende was brutally attacked and all these people were injected with poison and are undergoing medical treatment.
“The failure of the regime to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and the lawlessness that has visited our country is a cause for concern not just for our movement but the whole of Zimbabwe.”
Ncube was stabbed and killed at a CCC rally in Kwekwe by confirmed Zanu PF supporters, Ali was brutally dismembered in Nyatsime while Chitsunge was stoned to death by alleged ruling party followers irked by his decision to campaign for party President Nelson Chamisa in what they reportedly claimed was a ‘no-go-area.’
Masaya’s body was found heavily bruised and in a state of decomposition on Monday, with indications it had been injected with an unknown substance by his assailants.
None of the accused is behind bars, as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) maintains it is conducting investigations.
Added Siziba: “Right now an election in Zimbabwe means two things, if you want life you are forced to vote Zanu PF. If you vote for the alternative, which is your choice, you are actually voting for death in the context of the by-election we held in Gutu.
“Voting is no longer about political choice under Mnangagwa, it is no longer about bread and butter issues that is why Zimbabweans are being coerced to vote Zanu PF.
“It is actually coercion not voting, which is a problem we continue to face.”
The Zimbabwean government and ruling Zanu PF party have both failed to discard their bad-boy tag regards handling of the country’s electoral processes.
August’s polls were characterised by the same acts of voter intimidation, abductions and torture leading opposition parties, Election Observer Missions (EOMs) including SADC and European Missions to question its outcome.