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‘CCC struggles for rural candidates’

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‘CCC struggles for rural candidates’

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THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s candidate selection process has reportedly hit a brickwall in some rural wards as villagers are said to be reluctant to come out in the open and stand as opposition candidates, NewsDay has gathered.

Cluster leaders who spoke to NewsDay said the party was finding it difficult to find candidates in remote areas such as Muzarabani, Mudzi and Chimanimani, among other districts.

“Things are not looking good on the ground. There are no takers in perceived Zanu PF strongholds because people are vulnerable and they do not know where to report if they are harassed or their houses burnt,” said a party cluster leader who declined to be named.

“CCC has no established structures. In most rural communities, to be labelled an opposition attracts serious backlash.”

This comes amid reports that the party had come up with only one candidate out of 22 wards in Chimanimani and also failed to find a candidate in 24 wards in Mashonaland West province.

Information gathered by NewsDay showed that most opposition leaders adopted rural constituencies under the party’s Mugwazo programme, but opted for safe seats in urban areas.

CCC interim secretary-general Chalton Hwende adopted Mhondoro area, but opted to be nominated in Kuwadzana (Harare), while vice-president Tendai Biti adopted Murewa, but also opted for a safe seat in his Harare East constituency.

Sources in CCC said the party was also finding it difficult to deal with the issue of double nominations.

“There is nothing called consensus in politics. Every politician wants power and to be told to talk things over so that one concedes is a fallacy,” said an aspiring legislator.

The party was also accused of double standards after it emerged that some candidates renounced their Movement for Democratic Change membership at the eleventh hour so that they could be nominated under a CCC ticket.

Former MDC Alliance Harare chairperson Zivanai Mhetu was allowed to be nominated in Epworth North constituency.

In a circular on the selection procedures, CCC said having conducted stakeholder and citizen candidate nomination surveys in wards or constituencies, the Citizen’s Candidates Independent Selection Panel (CISP) will prepare a report that includes all names of nominated candidates, as well as scores and comments from stakeholders.

Nominated candidates will be approached by the CISP to ascertain their willingness for consideration as candidates.

Contacted for comment, CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba, however, dismissed the reports that the opposition party was failing to field candidates in some rural wards.

“That is not true that we are failing to find candidates. We have residue of all the 1 970 wards in Zimbabwe. Those who are alleging that, maybe, they are saying so because of the nominations that come late. We are now moving to the citizens caucus stage,” Siziba said.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare recently, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the process has at least four stages, with the nomination being the first stage.

“Following nomination, there is going to be a vetting process and the fact that one has been nominated is not the end of the situation, it doesn’t mean that you are yet eligible to be a candidate,” she said.

Mahere said after the vetting process is complete, they are also going to further consult “key stakeholders” in various communities who will have an opportunity to make their representations on who they would like to represent them.

“Thereafter, the very important community consensus building part of the candidate will start where there will be citizens caucuses where citizens will come together and be told there is X, there is Y candidate, who do you prefer and why?

“They (also) have an opportunity to make their case, deliver a very brief manifesto of what they plan to deliver in their wards or constituency and also to take questions from the community concerning their eligibility to run,” she said. Newsday

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