The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is facing difficulties in finding opposition candidates for the upcoming elections in some rural wards. According to reports, villagers in remote areas are reluctant to come forward and stand as opposition candidates due to the fear of harassment and backlash from the ruling party.
Cluster leaders, who spoke to NewsDay on the condition of anonymity, said that the party was struggling to find candidates in districts such as Muzarabani, Mudzi, and Chimanimani. “CCC has no established structures. In most rural communities, to be labelled an opposition attracts serious backlash,” said one of the leaders.
The situation is not looking good on the ground, and the party has only managed to come up with one candidate out of 22 wards in Chimanimani. Similarly, in Mashonaland West province, the party failed to find a candidate for 24 wards.
The party’s interim secretary-general, Chalton Hwende, and vice-president, Tendai Biti, have adopted rural constituencies under the party’s Mugwazo programme. However, they have both opted for safe seats in urban areas instead of standing in the rural areas they adopted.
Sources within CCC have revealed that the party is also struggling to deal with the issue of double nominations.
The reluctance of villagers to come forward and stand as opposition candidates highlights the challenges facing the opposition in Zimbabwe. The ruling party, ZANU-PF, has been accused of using violence and intimidation to maintain its grip on power, making it difficult for opposition parties to operate in rural areas.
The CCC is one of the opposition parties hoping to challenge ZANU-PF in the upcoming elections. However, the party’s struggle to find candidates in rural areas may affect its chances of success in those regions.
The party has called on the government to ensure that the upcoming elections are free and fair and that all political parties are able to campaign without fear of intimidation or violence.
Source, Newsday / Masimba News ✍🏿