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CCC must seek Mutodi disqualification

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CCC must seek Mutodi disqualification



BIKITA – The Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) must seek the disqualification of Bikita West candidate Energy Mutodi for firing shots at the opposition party supporters gathered for a rally at Baradzanwa Business Centre in Bikita South on Thursday.
Experts who spoke to The Mirror in interviews said Mutodi breached the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates and other stakeholders, which he signed before his nomination papers as a candidate were accepted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Analysts said the current political landscape is littered with breaches by Zanu PF candidates and supporters ripe for disqualification if the opposition pursues the cases. All rallies Chamisa held in Masvingo this week faced one form of disruption or another by Police, Zanu PF or its supporters.
Linda Masarira, a leading politician and president of Labour Economists Afrikan Democrats (LEAD), said CCC must approach ZEC and seek the disqualification of Mutodi, who raided the venue of a CCC rally and fired two shots at CCC supporters.
“Mutodi signed a ZEC code of conduct in which he pledged not to engage in violence or any other acts of unfair electoral practices during campaigning. Firing at rival party supporters is the worst breach under that code. Section 67 of the Zimbabwe Constitution sets out the political rights of Zimbabwean citizens. So, violence has no place in modern politics. Violence is archaic and barbaric.
“CCC must seek Mutodi disqualification in line with the code of election of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” said Masarira
Leading human rights lawyer Martin Mureri said CCC has a strong case against Mutodi. He said that the opposition party must first report the case to the Police before it goes to court to seek Mutodi disqualification.
He, however, said the prospects of success in the case were weak considering the captured judiciary and other arms of the State. All the same, Mureri said the case must be pursued.
“This is a case that leads to the disqualification of a candidate. However, the environment is difficult considering the capture of the arms of the State by the ruling party,” said Mureri.
Section 5 of the Code says no political party or any of its members or supporters, and no candidate, any of his or her supporters and no stakeholders may (a) use violence, or threaten violence or incite or encourage the use of violence against anyone on account of his or her political opinions or membership or support of a political party or membership or participation in an election; (b) intimidate, or incite or encourage the intimidation of anyone on account of his or her political opinions or membership or support of a political party (c) use violence or threats or illegal pressure to force a voter to refrain from voting or to vote for a candidate of his or her will.
The code under Section 2 states that all candidates, their members, supporters and stakeholders shall commit themselves to the code. The candidates are also obliged to create as much awareness as possible amongst their supporters of the existence of this code and its conditions.
The purpose of the code is to ensure that a legitimate Government is born out of democratic multi-party activity.
Mutodi, who was in the company of Kumbirai Ziki, a Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) besieged the venue with two trucks laden with Zanu PF supporters and allegedly threw stones at the CCC supporters. He fired shots after CCC supporters appeared to be unperturbed.
Mutodi confirmed the incident to The Mirror but denied shooting at CCC members. He said CCC supporters attacked his convoy first, and a security aide pulled out his gun and fired to scare them away. 
Mutodi said he did not make a Police report because he was advised by Officer Commanding Masvingo East (Dispol) Chief Superintendent Taurai Mambure not to. He, however, did not give reasons why he dissuaded him from reporting.
 “I did not make a report to the police because the Dispol said I should not,” he said. 
However, Mambure denied ever talking to Mutodi and said he as Dispol does not receive reports.
“He did not speak to me. Why would I stop a victim from reporting? The police have to receive complaints. So, in a nutshell, I can say I do not know anything,” said Mambure.
ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Utloile Silaigwana referred all the questions to the Public Relations department. However, the PR department has always been telling reporters that it does not make comments to the Press. 
“All questions from the media should come through our PR department,” said Silaigwana.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesperson Madock Chivasa said people must be allowed to campaign freely. 
“We are yet to establish what transpired, but it is not proper for someone to drive into an opposition crowd,” said Chivasa.   
Sources said Mutodi, who was driving an H2 Hammer came to the rally with two trucks full of Zanu PF supporters and started skidding at the venue. His supporters threw stones at CCC members. When CCC members confronted the group Mutodi fired two shots at the crowd. 
Mutodi denied the allegations and said he was going to Village 8A and 8B to distribute maize when CCC members started stoning his vehicles. He claimed that his supporters were already gathered at the distribution centres.
Gift ‘Ostallos’ Siziba, CCC national vice spokesperson said, “Zanu PF is running scared and they are brewing violence, but that will not stop the wind of change. What we want is peace,” said Siziba. 

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