Mutasa threatens senior Zanu officials

Chaos, irregularities, intrigue, violence and duplicate candidatures marred the submission of nominations to the electoral commission for the March general elections last weekend.

Zanu (PF) administration secretary Didymus Mutasa threatened senior party officials with dismissal.  “Indiscipline can even be seen among senior (ruling) party officials and that cannot be accepted,” he said.

Zanu (PF) has already won two parliamentary seats unopposed in Muzarabani South and Rushinga, while the MDC has scraped a few council seats unopposed in Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Manicaland, and Mashonaland.

The campaign will now begin in earnest on February 23.

The nomination process has claimed many political casualties, including ministers and senior opposition politicians. Some, like MDC Bulawayo South candidate, Eddie Cross, managed to scrape through at the last minute and were angry at how the ZEC had handled the nomination process.

“The Nomination Court on Friday declared me an alien – a non-citizen,” he said. “I took the issue to the High Court and won an order from the Judge who told the Nomination Court to treat me as a citizen and to act accordingly. Eventually at 9.30 pm I was declared a candidate for my constituency.”

A report by poll monitoring group, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, ZESN, which has fielded 120 election observers countrywide, singles out several cases of irregularities during the conduct of the process.

In Kadoma, observers witnessed a fistfight at the Nomination Court between Zanu (PF) supporters sparked by their party’s prospective nominees.

In Chakari, a father and his son are locking horns in the poll on a Zanu (PF) and MDC (Mutambara) ticket respectively.

In Chinhoyi, the ZESN report says, a total of nine independent candidates were duly nominated, including former publisher Kindness Paradza, formerly a member of Zanu (PF).

Dual candidature was widespread in Masvingo where there was successful nomination of more than one candidate from Zanu (PF) in six parliamentary constituencies and two senate seats.  

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