(Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
HARARE – A Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) delimitation exercise for Harare was yesterday characterised by heated clashes between ruling Zanu PF party members and those opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists forcing Zec officials to halt the process for about 30 minutes.
Supporters from both parties engaged in fistfights after Zanu PF provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa shot down a suggestion by CCC members to increase wards in the capital.
The CCC members had proposed an increase of wards in Harare to 55 from 46, while Zanu PF wanted only 43 wards.
The chaos forced Zec officials to flee the venue at council chambers. Council security had to quell the clashes.
The parties accused each other of bussing supporters to the stakeholders meeting at Town House.
The CCC party accused Zanu PF of turning the delimitation exercise into a party rally.
They had to hold a brief meeting which was attended by Zec officials, Harare provincial boss Fiona Kurima, security details and mayor Jacob Mafume to allow the meeting to go ahead.
“The situation I saw outside is not good at all; I even struggled to negotiate my way through to my office. I can see there are drunk people who have been bussed to this meeting. Some people were not supposed to be here, this is only a stakeholders meeting,” Mafume said.
The meeting then became more chaotic after Masimirembwa attacked the opposition labelling it “failures”.
“We can’t increase the wards when Harare City Council is failing, they have just failed on service delivery,” Masimirembwa said.
Harare councillor Denford Ngadziore grabbed the microphone from Masimirembwa saying he had turned the meeting into a Zanu PF rally.
This did not go down well with Zanu PF supporters who charged towards the podium in a bid to attack.
Mafume had to retreat to his office with Zec officials behind him.
Riot and municipal police had to be called in to restore order.
Masimirembwa later told NewsDay that the CCC party was being selfish.
“We are dealing with non-performers and they are selfish. We also want the delimitation exercise to be decided by performance. l believe that as a Zanu PF representative, we are being victimised. l came here representing Zanu PF and I ended up being victimised by the CCC officials,” he said.
Kurima said they were looking forward to a fruitful meeting.
In Bulawayo last week, 16 CCC councillors walked out of a Zec consultative meeting following a dispute over the number of wards. CCC had proposed 35 wards while Zec presented only 29. NewsDay