Source: ED endorses ‘rigged’ Zanu PF elections – NewsDay Zimbabwe
BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday endorsed the disputed results of his Zanu PF party’s provincial elections and urged members to accept the outcome.
He also rallied all party members to work together for the “good” of the party.
Addressing a Zanu PF politburo session at the party headquarters in Harare following the contentious provincial elections held last week, the President said: “As we deliberate on the report of the elections, I urge all members of the party to be mindful of the fact that in our party there are no winners and losers. It is the people and ultimately the party that wins.
“Party cadres, who did not make it in the recent elections, must avail themselves, their experiences, skills and competencies to build and grow our mass party. Just as iron sharpens iron, the spirit of camaraderie and collegiality must be harnessed as we all serve this great party, Zanu PF and the nation as a whole. An election lost must never dampens the revolutionary spirit of any cadre, but inspires them to learn, develop and mature in their political career.”
The Zanu PF elections were reportedly marred by violence and vote rigging, with several losing candidates petitioning party commissar Michael Bimha demanding a rerun.
After the politburo meeting, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the party had resolved to endorse the results despite the rigging claims and investigate the allegations later.
He, however, said the outcome of the investigations would not alter the outcome of the polls.
Mutsvangwa said the party would suspend members who instigated violence during the party’s internal polls.
“The President chastised those who did not want to participate in the elections in a fair, transparent and accountable manner. Those who are prone to try to short-change the system and, or other indiscipline will be suspended if the evidence is brought before the disciplinary committee,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Those who lost — the party is big, it has the wings of the chicken — all the chicks will be able to be accommodated somehow. But the principle that it is an election and not an appointment is fundamental. Those who lost must accept defeat.”
Party commissar Bimha also confirmed that the politburo had endorsed the results, adding that the outcome of the proposed investigations would guide the party’s future elections.
“The results have been endorsed. The issues that were discussed are how we should do things in the future — issues to do with taking disciplinary action on those who were offending, but that didn’t affect the results. We will ensure that we take disciplinary action where there have been offences,” Bimha added.
Zanu PF will, however, organise provincial elections for the Matabeleland North provincial youth wing after all the candidates were disqualified because they were over 35 years.
Some party officials told NewsDay that unconfirmed results indicated that a faction linked to Mnangagwa was sharing control of the 10 provinces with one aligned to Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, some of whose candidates were controversially disqualified from the race.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka trounced her three rivals in the party provincial chairmanship race to become the first woman to lead a province in the ruling party’s history.
She was battling it out with Makonde MP and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Kindness Paradza, former provincial youth chairman Vengai Musengi and ex-Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere.
Acting party provincial chairperson Abia Mujeri withdrew from the race at the last minute after reportedly facing resource challenges, with sources indicating that he lost the vehicle allocated to him as acting provincial leader on the eve of the polls.
Other candidates, who won the chairmanship, include Robison Mavhenyengwa (Masvingo), Kazembe Kazembe (Mashonaland Central), Jabulani Sibanda (Bulawayo), Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu (Matabeleland South), Godwills Masimirembwa (Harare), Albert Nyakuedzwa (Manicaland) and Richard Moyo (Matabeleland North).
Mnangagwa’s alleged preferred candidate Larry Mavhima was elected unopposed in the Midlands province amid reports of imposition to avoid widening divisions and possible heavy loss in the President’s home province.
In Mashonaland East, Goromonzi North MP Ozias Bvute, who had covered ground in the province, was disqualified under a cloud from the list of candidates a day before the polls resulting in Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe snatching the provincial chairmanship.
Other party heavyweights who fell by the wayside in the polls include Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira, Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro (Manicaland) and Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo (Mashonaland West) who contested in the basket system while angling for the provincial vice-chairperson’s position.