The ruling Zanu PF and suspected State security agents have reportedly ordered local hotels not to host the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party for Press conferences and other events, it has emerged.
Restive Zimbabwe government fears protests may erupt against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s election results which indicated that President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the August 23 and 24 presidential poll.
CCC has rejected Zec’s election results, with party leader Nelson Chamisa on Sunday this week indicating that he and his party would challenge the poll outcome.
The opposition party has held a series of Press conferences since voting day last Wednesday to express its discontentment over Zec’s conduct in the run-up to and management of the elections.
A CCC Press conference held at Sapes Trust offices in Belgravia on Saturday was disrupted by suspected security officers while party spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi was in the middle of his address.
On Sunday, Chamisa addressed the media at a private residence in Belvedere after several fruitless attempts to secure a venue in public places.
The Press conference, initially scheduled at 3pm at the Sapes Trust offices in Belgravia, was changed "due to security issues", the party said.
Chamisa told journalists that his party was struggling to secure venues for its Press conferences and other events.
"We struggled to secure a venue," he said. "I am told that most of the hotels have been threatened and put on notice if they tolerate CCC, in particular, Mr Chamisa and his programmes, they would be in trouble."
Mkwananzi yesterday told NewsDay that the party was cognisant of attempts by Zanu PF to “muzzle” it so that it does not reveal the truth about the alleged electoral theft.
"We are struggling to secure venues at hotels or conferences for our events. They don’t want us to speak. But that will not stop (us). Definitely, we will have several other ways to speak to the people," he said.
"We are unstoppable. But this explains why they don’t want us to speak. They know that they stole the election and they don’t want the world to know."
CCC is claiming that Chamisa won the election, according to its parallel vote tabulation.
However, Zanu PF acting information director Farai Marapira dismissed the allegations when contacted for comment yesterday.
"This is a ludicrous accusation by CCC. Hotels are private entities. They can’t have problems and continue to point them at us. We have won the election," he said.
"The election is done and dusted and we are busy focusing on delivering the mandate. If they can’t approach property owners nicely how is it our problem?"
"They are still in denial and transitioning in anger. The public should be patient as they deal with their grief."
Several organisations, including the United Nations, Africa Union and the Southern African Development Community observer missions, have refused to endorse the elections, citing various irregularities that may have affected the results of the polls.
They also indicated that the polls failed to meet local, regional and international standards.