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As the campaign for the August 23 elections heats up, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) head Nelson Chamisa claims to have closed all loopholes utilised by Zanu PF to rig elections in the past.

Chamisa told an audience of roughly 8000 people at Dulibadzimu Stadium yesterday that election and power snatching will be a thing of the past.

He claimed that Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa’s history of seizing power was working against him since former President Robert Mugabe died a bitter man.

Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s closest assistant, deposed him in a coup in 2017.

In 2018, Mugabe endorsed Chamisa ahead of Mnangagwa.

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“When ED grabbed power from Mugabe, he was given two years to finish Mugabe’s term but nothing worked. I warned my brother (Mnangagwa) on the repercussions of grabbing power. I told him what you have done, you have committed a crime in heaven and on earth. He grabbed another five years from me in 2018,” Chamisa said.

“This time we know he is thinking of employing dirty tactics but all corners are covered because we know what he uses to steal elections. We want to see when election results are being announced, the gap must be huge.”

Chamisa said his government would target a US$100 billion-dollar economy.

He attacked the government for beating its chest for implementing development projects that are not benefiting people.

“If they build a road, they come back to you and boast, yet it’s their duty. They even inflate the (cost). Look at Zimborders which has plunged people into suffering.

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“People living in Beitbridge depend on cross-border trade but they have been impoverished by high charges when using the upgraded border so who does it help?” he said.

Beitbridge border was upgraded at US$300 million but to recoup money borrowed from banks in South Africa, the company levies charges of US$27, US$80 and US$200 for private cars, buses and heavy trucks.

This has resulted in traffic sidestepping Beitbridge for other routes while locals no longer drive to South Africa.

“So what development is that? My government will exempt locals or seek reversal of the deals which make people suffer,” he said.

He asked the crowd to vote for him come August 23 saying most people in the country including civil servants, the security sector were eager for change.

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“Everywhere people are suffering. I am coming from Plumtree and everyone says they are tired of corruption which has led to immense suffering. We are going to change education, health, social security and many things that affect people.

“We will introduce free education at primary and tertiary levels. It’s happening in Zambia and other countries and it’s possible. I also want to correct the lie being peddled that I will give back farms to whites. I said I will give people title deeds. People are like squatters on resettled land, they have no claim or right to it,” he added.

He mocked Zanu PF for bussing supporters from the length and breadth of the country to its rallies.

“Everyone here came on their own, we have no chicken to give you but you are driven by a need for change and a desire for dignity we will restore. We must vote in numbers to send Mnangagwa off,” Chamisa said.

He introduced his party’s candidates for the National Assembly in Beitbridge West and East, Morgan Ncube and Renatho Manavhela alongside local government candidates.

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Chamisa said his government would not allow raw mineral exports.

“We will have a US$100 billion economy. We will have a country of milk and honey. No one will carry our raw materials out. We will have those lithium factories, build towns and new cities around resources we have for processing,” he said.

“We will restore citizens’ rights and that means anyone will have the right to demonstrate. How can anyone be stopped from expressing themselves.”

Chamisa also said his party would have a lean government with a maximum of 15 ministers. His rally was delayed by PA system technical challenges.

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