Zimbabwe: Shortage of Ballot Boxes Hits Zanu-PF DCC Elections

5 December 2020

ZANU PF will this Saturday hold its crucial District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections, but the governing party has failed to avail ballot boxes and has urged aspiring district chairpersons to source used cardboard boxes for casting votes.

This is contained in a memo to all aspiring district chairpersons issued by the party Friday ahead of Saturday's elections.

Ballot papers were expected in all provinces expect Harare and Bulawayo Friday but without ballot boxes. The first and second capital cities respectively, have already conducted their DCC elections.

However, in a statement, the party implored aspiring candidates to source their own polling boxes.

"All district chairpersons are requested to improvise and make their own ballot boxes at their respective districts. There should be 23 boxes at each polling station. Look for any small cardboard boxes to use," the party wrote to all districts holding DCC elections.

Zanu PF is bringing back the DCC structures after suspending them in 2012 because they were allegedly used as conduits in the G40 and Lacoste factional fights.

It was perceived then that the DCCs had been hijacked by some influential individuals to pursue their personal agendas at the expense of the party.

The factional fights between G40 and Lacoste led to a military coup that deposed the now late Robert Mugabe as president and was replaced by the incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Most influential members of the G40 have since fled to exile but Mnangagwa is seeking to extradite them accusing them of being involved in acts of corruption while they were serving as government ministers.

While the party claims the DCC campaign process has been peaceful, the cold war in the current structures ahead of Saturday's elections has revealed there are deep seated factional rifts in the party as rival groups back their aspiring candidates.

A total of 1 248 polling stations in the eight provinces have been set up.

Each Zanu PF district, the size of an ordinary council wards, will have a single polling station.

The party's Politburo members will preside over the election in the respective provinces. Announcement of the results will be done at the national command centre in Harare.

In Matabeleland North province, a total of 336 CVs were submitted for the available 161 positions. The province has 191 Zanu PF districts. Former health minister David Parirenyatwa, who is a Politburo member has been deployed to oversee the Matabeleland North elections.

Speaking during a recent Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition public meeting, exiled former Zanu PF national commissar and cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere said G40 remnants in Zanu PF would win in Saturday's DCC elections.

"Even in Zanu PF there are DCC elections and they fear that the G40 is everywhere and it's a fact that they (G40) are everywhere. People want change and we cannot continue doing the same thing again and again," he said.

Chaotic scenes and violence have been reported across the country ahead of the DCC elections among rival factions.

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