…party activists call for a rerun of ‘discredited’ provincial elections
GWERU: Factionalism in Zanu PF Midlands province continues to rage in the aftermath of the provincial elections despite the intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who ostensibly ordered Larry Mavhima’s rivals for the chairmanship post to withdraw from the race.
Mnanangagwa’s intervention on behalf of his trusted lieutenant saw Mavhima going into the elections unopposed in what party insiders called ‘guided democracy’.
The intervention saw other provincial bigwigs, Daniel McKenzie Ncube and Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube withdrawing their candidacies.
Tsitsi Zhou won the Women’s League chair position but party insiders claim her victory might be nullified as many people in the party are working to discredit her as a G40 functionary while Enerst Dzoro was elected the new Youth League chairperson.
Meanwhile, the so-called ‘guided democracy’ practice is being strongly denounced by party loyalists in different closed ZANU PF WhatsApp groups.
“Guided democracy has a tendency to be abused by established power oligharkies (sic) to protect their interests but who may (sic) not necessarily be performing or delivering the required results to the people.
“It’s a system that has serious and endemic pitfalls. Guided in the view of who? As we have learnt, it may end up being the guiding view of only one man, his wife, and their friends,” said a furious party activist in one group
Mnangagwa’s son, Emmerson Junior, was reportedly seen with his security guards at the Midlands Convention Centre on election day; a visit many claim was about ‘barking orders on his father’s preferred candidates.’
His presence also shocked many as he neither held any position in the party nor was he a contestant.
Supporters of Mudha, who is the Minister of State Security, complain that he bowed out under pressure after being threatened that he would be reshuffled out of the cabinet if he persisted.
The Midlands, which is Mnagagwa’s adopted home province, has been engulfed in serious factional fights pitting the Mudha faction which is being fronted by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo while Mackenzie Ncube has the support of the minister of State in the President’s Office, Joram Gumbo.
All protagonists claim they are loyal to Mnangagwa.
The factional rifts have been laid bare by reports of vote-rigging, intimidation, and corruption in the electoral process province-wide, with observers saying the manner in which the elections were held should be a huge embarrassment to the Mnangagwas.
In Kwekwe there was chaos in Amavani after Dhala Ncube, who is Mudha’s nephew, reportedly bused people from Gokwe to take part in the elections to his advantage as he faced stiff competition from Bishop Kandros Mugabe.
Mugabe and Mudha do not see eye to eye as they have been fighting for political superiority in the Province for a long time.
In Shurugwi, one of the ‘imposed’ District coordinating committee chairpersons, Shephered Mudhara, who was in charge of elections, reportedly ran away with a box of ballot papers after sensing that his preferred candidate was at the cusp of defeat.
Mudhara took office after contesting Michael Taru’s win, a move that resolved factional battles between warring Shurugwi parliamentarians, Edmund Mukaratirwa, and Robson Nyati.
Reports also indicate that Mudhara had initially failed to dispatch a team to certain voting centres by 16:00hrs despite a directive to close the voting process by 12 noon on Wednesday.
“The problem is that the local DCCs were allowed to conduct elections in their district. These are compromised individuals who were aligned to candidates in one way or the other. That was the biggest blunder. They should have called in some independent organizations like ZEC to conduct the elections.
“If it was the issue of money, they should have brought DCC members from other districts to conduct the elections. This is a big sham and if the President wants to restore sanity in the party, he should nullify the elections and call for a rerun in a transparent manner,” said another party loyalist who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, factional wars were also evident in other districts, with Zanu PF National Political Commissar Mike Bimha warning that some results could be nullified if irregularities were confirmed.
“We would want these cases to be fully investigated. Where we have candidates that would have been involved in cases of violence, such candidates will be disqualified and furthermore, be subjected to the party’s disciplinary procedure,” said Bimha.
He warned those who triumphed to stop celebrating until the results were endorsed by the Politburo.