By A Correspondent| Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Tendai Biti has warned that the unconstitutional recruitment of agents from the Zanu PF-aligned group Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) to allegedly tamper with the country’s election process is fertile ground for a military coup.
Biti, who is also CCC co-vice president, was speaking in parliament on Wednesday as he demanded Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to come clean on the situation.
The mysterious group surfaced during Zanu PF’s recent primary elections amid claims by some party loyalists that it had seized control and was rigging the internal balloting process in Bindura, Muzarabani, Mt Darwin and Rushinga where some cell registers were reported missing.
Since the opening of the voters’ roll inspection by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) late May, CCC has raised alarm over what it claims has been the presence of FAZ agents at inspection centres.
Party spokespersons claim some names were missing from the voters’ roll while some have been moved, amid concerns over the possibility of a sinister bid to disenfranchise some known opposition loyalists.
Biti said the presence of FAZ agents at voters’ roll inspection centres was a clear violation of the Electoral Act and a dangerous attempt to rig the elections.
“The presence of FAZ agents at voters’ roll inspection centres is a clear violation of the Electoral Act,” Biti said. “This is a dangerous attempt to rig the elections and we will not allow it to happen.
“We are calling on Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri to come clean on the relationship between FAZ and Zanu PF. We also call on ZEC to ensure that the voters’ roll is clean and that all eligible voters are able to vote in the upcoming elections.”
Biti’s warning comes amid growing concerns over the fairness of Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections. The country has a long history of electoral violence and fraud, and there are fears that the ruling Zanu PF party is determined to cling to power by any means necessary.
The CCC has vowed to challenge any attempt to rig the elections, and has called on the international community to monitor the polls closely.