We Won't Boycott Elections, Says CCC After Mob Disrupts Press Conference
The opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) has said it will not boycott the 2023 polls after suspected ZANU PF youths on Tuesday barricaded the Media Centre in Harare to stop leaders from holding a Press conference.
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, secretary for elections Ian Makone and his deputy Ellen Shiriyedenga were forced to exit the venue through the back door as suspected ZANU PF youths cordoned off the place.
The assailants also entered the building and took away CCC banners and materials meant to be used during the Press conference.
Police officers who were deployed outside the Media Centre allegedly did nothing to stop the suspected ZANU PF activists from disrupting CCC’s Press Conference.
The opposition party had called the Press conference to update the media on issues to do with elections as the country prepares for general elections in 2023.
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Addressing journalists after the Press Conference was reconvened, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere alleged that the disruption was a ZANU PF tactic to force the party to boycott the upcoming election. She said:
We started late because ZANU PF stormed our venue and stole our brand property which includes banners and other identifying material.
But we have to continue because CCC is a party of courage. ZANU PF is running scared because no political party that is confident of its public support storms the venue of a Press conference and uses violence and steals another party’s material.
What is more disappointing is that we have the Zimbabwe Republic Police stationed outside.
They are armed and in their riot gear and they are at the venue yet they are unable to stop the violence.
… Our constitutional right to gather and share our narrative, ideas, and plans must not be impeded. We do not call ourselves change champions for nothing.
ZANU PF is trying to do everything it can to stop us from participating. A boycott is out of the question no matter how much violence and intimidation they use. We are going to march forward.
ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said CCC should report the perpetrators to the police so that they face the full wrath of the law. He said:
They must go and report the matter to the police. It’s a minor issue that they can solve. We don’t condone violence in ZANU PF.
The President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) is preaching the gospel of peace. If people break the law they should face the wrath of the law.
This is just a political scoresheet to throw the name of ZANU PF into disrepute. The matter should be reported to the police.
Otherwise, we won’t go anywhere with political crybabies.
In the past, CCC activities have been disrupted by suspected ZANU PF activists, and in some cases, the disruptions have been violent leaving people dead or injured. | NewsDay