By Andrew Kunambura
The Zanu PF politburo has ordered a rerun of primary elections in 10 National Assembly constituencies where results are being hotly contested due to gross electoral malpractices.
The politburo also resolved to engage independent agents to investigate reports of rigging and other electoral anomalies in many other constituencies, and action would be taken in accordance with their recommendations.
Addressing journalists at the end of a politburo meeting specially convened to deliberate on the highly contentious primaries, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said the meeting had decided to cancel results from 10 constituencies and order a probe in a number of others where disputes arose.
The move, Mpofu said, was largely triggered by numerous appeals that the Zanu PF commissariat department was inundated with in the aftermath of the election.
This also comes as disgruntled party members and supporters have since been picketing at the party’s national headquarters in Harare since last week, wielding placards that denounced some candidates as the toy-toyed around the vast premises.
“The Zanu PF politburo has been deliberating on the primary elections which were held across the country. A list of the candidates to represent the party in National Assembly, Senatorial seats and the women’s representative quota were approved by the politburo. The results will be published by the commissariat department and communicated to all provinces in due course,” said Mpofu.
“The politburo also resolved to send independent verification teams to all areas where irregular malpractices were noticed. The politburo has also resolved to have a rerun (of the elections) in constituencies where gross malpractices were noticed or identified,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu, however, declined to disclose the identity of the constituencies that were affected, saying this would be done in due course by the ruling party’s national political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje.
He, however, said most of the affected constituencies were in Harare and Mashonaland West provinces.
“The commissariat department will inform the affected constituencies at the earliest possible time. They are very few, they are not more than 10 and mostly in Mashonaland West and some are in Harare but the details of these constituencies will be pronounced by the commissariat department,” he said.
Mpofu also said results which are still pending in some constituencies were expected soon.
“We have some areas where we have not received results and we expect to receive the results anytime now and those will also be dealt with in the manner others have been dealt with,” he said.
In Harare, the hottest contestations were reported in Harare South where Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesperson Douglas Mahiya lost the election to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s nephew, Tongai.
Problems also rocked Harare East where temperamental sitting legislator Terrence Mukupe was accused of fleeing with ballot boxes and fomenting violence.
In Mashonaland West province, problems were reported in Norton constituency where losing candidate Christopher Mutsvangwa has been spewing unbridled bile, alleging that he was rigged.
Problems also took place in the Chegutu East constituency where sitting MP Dexter Nduna got himself into trouble with the law after allegedly firing a volley of bullets into the air to ostensibly scare away opponents during a violent stand-off.
In Chegutu West, results have altogether not been collated amid reports that four agents of youthful parliamentary aspirant, Vengai Musengi, were allegedly poisoned by their opponents and are currently recuperating in hospital.
Also in Hurungwe West, there were reports of violence involving outspoken Norton MP Temba Mliswa who was campaigning for his sister, Mary — the winner of the poll.
Mpofu also gave the indication that Nduna might be barred from contesting in the poll re-run because he is answering to criminal charges at the Chegutu Magistrates’ Courts.
“As you may have noticed, we have also within this process of primary elections had quite a number of people who tried to disturb the process and have been arrested.
There is no discrimination in terms of dealing with unruly elements within the democratic process. Our regulations and guidelines state that if you have pending cases, especially of criminal nature, you will not be allowed to stand in the primaries,” he said. Daily News