Massive Intimidation Reported in Ongoing Gutu West By-Election
*Local Paper Labels Situation as “Highest Level of Intimidation”*
By Dorrothy Moyo | In what’s been described as a shocking display of intimidation, the ongoing Gutu West by-election has been marred by reported incidents of voter suppression, as labeled by local publication, The Mirror. The paper highlighted an alarming scene where more than 20 vehicles branded with the insignia of Zanu PF, the ruling party, have been circling areas, allegedly intimidating voters. The Mirror captured videos showcasing these vehicles, notably parked in close proximity, less than 100 meters from Chiriga Primary School, situated in Ward 6 of Gutu West.
The vehicles, all adorned with the Zanu PF Provincial Youth League branding from various provinces across the nation, have raised concerns about their potential influence on the ongoing by-election process.
*CCC Party Raises Concerns*
In response to these developments, the CCC Party issued a statement addressing the ongoing by-election. They highlighted the background of the election, mentioning that the current by-election, scheduled for 11 November 2023, was a result of the unfortunate passing of one of the initial contestants just days before the scheduled August elections.
The CCC Party raised serious concerns about the integrity of the August elections, citing irregularities that fell short of local, regional, and international electoral standards. Additionally, they alleged that despite reported irregularities and voter suppression, the declared winner by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) did not align with the alleged popular vote. The statement included claims that Mr. Mnangagwa lost to President Nelson Chamisa in the initial election, with ZEC declaring a different outcome based on unverified results.
This statement from the CCC Party also cited the condemnation of the election process by various election observation missions, including bodies such as SADC, AU, and other international entities.
The ongoing situation in Gutu West raises concerns about the fairness and transparency of the electoral process, as the by-election continues amidst these allegations of intimidation and previous irregularities.