Former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Peter Mutasa controversially won the chairmanship of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) after defeating Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) executive director, Samuel Wadzai Mangoma during virtual elections that were held yesterday.
CiZC elections finally took place yesterday after a previous meeting held in Bulawayo last month was aborted when thugs aligned to the outgoing chairperson, Rashid Mahiya, stormed the meeting and assaulted delegates.
A source who spoke to this publication said Mutasa and Mahiya connived to manipulate the voters roll and to bar some members from casting their votes as they didn’t want Mangoma to win.
“The online voting process was rigged in favour of Mutasa. There was no voters roll verification and the internet was gagged to bar some members from casting their votes. It is bad for an organisation like CiZC to rig its own elections. Surely the civil society is now rotten,” said the source.
The same source said that Mahiya and CiZC secretariat were in charge of the elections without the knowledge and approval of all members. He added that some people who were not eligible to vote logged in and voted with the blessings of Mahiya.
The source further said that during the voting process, the internet was switched off for more than five times and when the internet connectivity was restored, Mutasa’s votes had jumped from 40 to 53 percent and was eventually declared the winner.
According to the source, Mahiya declined a request from some members that the voters roll should be verified before the voting process could commence. Mahiya is alleged to have argued that the verification process was time consuming and he directed that those who doubted the authenticity of the voters roll should disconnect from the virtual meeting.
“The meeting should have been postposed as some affiliate organisations were not represented. However, Mutasa and Mahiya were determined that the elections should proceed despite some complains of an unverified voters roll and lack of quorum,” said the source.
In the new contested CiZC structure, Mutasa will be the chairperson, deputised by Busi Dube. Other members are Obert Masaraure (Spokesperson) and Gamuchirai Mukura (Treasurer).
Efforts to get a comment from CiZC national director Blessing Vava were futile as his mobile phones were not reachable.