Zanu supporters vow to defy directive

As factional fighting within Zanu (PF) continues some supporters here have vowed to defy a directive to hold a rerun of the provincial elections. They argue that those pushing for fresh polls are members of the now defunct United People’s Party UPP which was led by the current Zanu (PF) Masvingo Urban legislator Daniel Shumba.

Daniel Shumba: accused of subverting the will of the people.
Daniel Shumba: accused of subverting the will of the people.

At meetings over the weekend they agreed to defy the politburo decision to have fresh polls. “We are not going to bow down to pressure from the politburo because those pushing for fresh elections are not genuine Zanu (PF) supporters,” said Lameck Mukovi, who attended the meeting. “We have already chosen our leaders, so why would the politburo try to impose things on us?”

Some war veterans who also attended the meetings told The Zimbabwean they would mobilise people not to participate in the polls if the politburo insisted on a re-run. “We are saying no to fresh elections,” said Ezra Muzondo. “We are going to mobilise all the people to boycott the fresh polls because we feel we have already chosen our leaders. We have also discovered that those pushing for fresh polls are United People’s Party supporters led by Shumba”, he added.

The party’s provincial chairman, retired brigadier general Callisto Gwanetsa, said supporters had the right to advise leaders on issues affecting the party. “People are just free to speak their minds, but in the same vein – leaders have to listen to what the people say, “he said.

Gwanetsa, the MP for Chiredzi south, was controversially elected party provincial chairman after beating Ailess Baloyi. He belongs to the faction led by vice president Joice Mujuru while Baloyi supports the Emmerson Mnangagwa camp. After his victory party supporters throughout the province organised demonstrations protesting against the results.

The decision by the politburo to order a re-run followed letters allegedly penned by Shumba, senator Shuvai Mhofa and former Chivi central legislator Munyardzi Paul Mangwana that the polls were not free and fair.

During the polls police had to use tear gas to disperse angry party supporters who alleging that the polls were not free and fair. Shumba, who dumped the now defunct UPP to rejoin Zanu (PF), said he was monitoring elections in South Africa and therefore could not comment on the allegations made against his former party.

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