Crisis Coalition ‘rigging’ saga deepens as Mkono mounts formal challenge

Zimstar News

The row over the outcome of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC)’s recent poll is not over yet as firebrand activist Pride Mkono has escalated his bid to reverse Peter Mutasa’s election as the civil society group’s new chair through a formal challenge.

Through his lawyers, the Youth Environmental Management and Protection coordinator, has written to Election Resource Centre (ERC) and CiZC head of secretariat to demand raw data of poll processes.

ERC ran the virtual election – a compromise option for a physical one which was disrupted by violence during an abortive Bulawayo AGM weeks before – giving it a clean bill of health.

Mutasa, the immediate former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, polled 26 votes against his only challenger Samuel Wadzayi’s 23.

But the Wadzayi camp, fronted by Mkono, will not go down without a good fight.

Mkono anchors his argument the poll was rigged through citation of the many alleged variations in screenshots provided as the election outcome by some of the 49 voting representatives from affiliate organisations.

The activist is adamant those who ran the election already had a result before the first vote was even cast.

In his letter of demand addressed to Solomon Bobosibunu of ERC and to CiZC national coordinator Blessing Vava – dated 13 January 2021 – Mkono demands copies of the election residue and threatens to escalate the matter further if they do not act according to his petition.

Said the activist through his lawyers, “Our client contents that he, together with other organizations objected to a number of procedural issues which desecrated the Constitution of the Crisis coalition and you did not consider the same, resulting in irregularities and brazen defects at law which cannot be pardoned. He further contends that the said Election was manipulated.

“In the premise, we are under strict instructions to request, and humbly do so, the following:

  1. Residue of all the 49 votes purportedly casted in the said election
  2. Copies of results signed by agents of the candidates and observers
  3. Registration forms signed by members from the Bulawayo AGM
  4. Copy of the voters’ roll used in the said election,

“Within 48 hours to avoid unreasonable delay in resolving the matter and to caution the prejudice he is already suffering, failure of which, we shall seek redress without further notice to yourselves.”

The CiZC leadership is a key post with influence in the national body politic with the State showing interest on who takes charge of the 87 member CSO grouping.

READ FULL TEXT OF LETTER OF DEMAND BELOW:

This communication comes with greatest urgency and we anticipate that you shall treat it as such. We hereby act for and on behalf of Mr Pride Mkono, who is representing Youth Environmental Management and Protection Trust as its Coordinator, at whose instance we write. Kindly take note of our legal interests herein.

Our client, Mr Pride Mkono, has advised us that he has the authority to act and represent the said entity established in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe and is in good standing with the same as we alternatively and further indicate our intentions to seek redress on the above issues.

We have been further advised that on 12th January 2022 you purportedly convened a Zoom meeting being continuation of the disputed Annual General Meeting in Bulawayo which was supposed to elect office bearers of the Board as per the Constitution of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and 49 (forty-nine) members allegedly attended this meeting.

Our client contents that he, together with other organizations objected to a number of procedural issues which desecrated the Constitution of the Crisis coalition and you did not consider the same, resulting in irregularities and brazen defects at law which cannot be pardoned. He further contends that the said Election was manipulated.

In the premise, we are under strict instructions to request, and humbly do so, the following:

  1. Residue of all the 49 votes purportedly casted in the said election
  2. Copies of results signed by agents of the candidates and observers
  3. Registration forms signed by members from the Bulawayo AGM
  4. Copy of the voters’ roll used in the said election,

Within 48 hours to avoid unreasonable delay in resolving the matter and to caution the prejudice he is already suffering, failure of which, we shall seek redress without further notice to yourselves.

We further inform your good offices that should you wish to settle the matter amicably, as we intend, kindly propose the same as we alternatively and further indicate our intentions to seek redress on the above issues.

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