Some party members want President Robert Mugabe to intervene before fresh elections in the district where warring factions led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice President Joice Mujuru are battling for control.
The party’s Manicaland chairman, Mike Madiro, allegedly aligned to the Mnangagwa faction, nullified the elections after candidates from that faction lost.
It is said the deep factionalism reared its ugly head, when Albert Nyakuedzwa of Mnangagwa faction and Nathaniel Mhiripiri (Mujuru faction) battled it out for the chairman’s post. David Mutasa, who backs Mhiripiri, said: “We were never consulted on the nullification of the election. The whole election process was in shambles and there was no secrecy at all.”
Mutasa alleged the ballot boxes were paper bags and plastic dishes.
“The plastic bags and dishes were taken away by some polling agents, who are war veterans, to the police station for counting. The next thing we were told that the election has been nullified. They nullified the election after realising that Nyakuedzwa had lost. I am very frustrated by the whole process,” he said.
A Politburo member who requested not to be named also hit out at Madiro:
“We know Madiro is aligned to the Mnangagwa faction and he is trying to rig the elections so that members from his faction are put in strategic positions. As a party we are not going anywhere if the imposition of candidates are not addressed. It is clear that Madiro realised that candidates from his camp were losing the elections and used his power to nullify the elections,” he said.
“We lost to MDC-T (the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change) in 2008 because of the imposition of candidates. Let those people who are favourites with the electorate lead the people. If this practice continues again, we are going to lose the forthcoming elections.
“Madiro is causing confusion by using different tricks to make sure that his candidates are elected. If the issue of candidate imposition is not addressed definitely we are going to lose to MDC-T again because people are angry with this behaviour,” said the Politburo member.
Madiro rejected the accusations, saying: “It is irresponsible for anyone to accuse me of favouritism and candidate imposition. It is unfortunate that I am being sacrificed here, but, I will not be distracted from doing my duties as chairman of the party.”
Madiro claimed he nullified the results after he detected some “serious irregularities and shortcomings” from both camps.
“That negatively impacted on the whole process of free and fair election. The elections in Makoni failed to satisfy the guidelines set by the party,” said Madiro.
Party members are also worried that moves by party big wigs to silence the party’s youth wing in the province which is backing candidates that are favoured by the people in the area, will negatively affect the party. The political heavy weights implicated in causing massive divisions in the party in Makoni district include Didymus Mutasa, Patrick Chinamasa and Joseph Made. “Gone are the days of candidate imposition and this is the time to reinvigorate Zanu (PF) in Manicaland by coming up with credible leadership that has the mandate of the people,” said Samuel Mukombedzi, a popular war veteran in Makoni district.
“If we do not address the issue of candidate imposition then we will not reclaim all the seats that we lost to MDC-T, in fact we will continue losing them.”
“Madiro is not Zanu (PF) and he should not treat the party as his personal property. He is creating confusion. If this thing (candidate imposition) is not solved as a matter of urgency and if we go into elections with candidates imposed on us then we can consider ourselves lost, because we cannot vote for a candidate whom we don’t like,” added Mukombedzi.
The Zanu (PF) national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo is on record as saying the party will not tolerate any candidate imposition because it cost the party the 2008 elections.Post published in: News