Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Zanu PF provincial election results started trickling into the party’s National Command Centre in Harare yesterday afternoon with more results expected this morning.
There were expectations of surprises in some areas.
National Political Commissar, Cde Mike Bimha, said the election results from all provinces would be announced today at party headquarters.
The party confirmed that counting had been completed in Harare with the results having been forwarded to the National Command Centre.
In most areas across the 10 provinces, polling continued smoothly and without notable incidents or disturbances in a positive demonstration of the party’s internal democratic processes. Polling took place at multiple centres in each district to allow all district officials to vote close to their areas.
In some areas of Masvingo and Midlands, voting continued yesterday after polling officers failed to access the places on time on Tuesday because of incessant rains.
The elections are meant to choose the party’s new provincial executive members after the previous teams were dissolved last week.
Cde Bimha said by yesterday vote counting had started in most provinces while polling was ongoing in Masvingo and Midlands where there were weather-induced delays.
The votes are being counted and displayed at the polling stations after party officials sign off to authenticate the results.
They are then sent to the district coordinating centres in each province for verification and following that process are sent to the provincial command centres, for a second round of verification and collation, before submission the National Command Centre in Harare.
Commenting on some unofficial results circulating on social media Cde Bimha was emphatic that the official results would arrive at the national centre and be released there.
“We do not have any results as of now. We expect them beginning this afternoon (yesterday). We are seeing results on social media but those are not official. We will only accept results that come through the provincial command centres. Only then we can confirm the results as authentic,” said Cde Bimha.
He said only the National Command Centre had the prerogative to announce the final results.
“We had few hitches here and there and that was to be expected. We attended to the problems timeously. But there are areas, particularly in Midlands and Masvingo, where because of incessant rains we could not have elections on Tuesday as planned and we have allowed them to continue with the elections today (yesterday).
Voting in the remote parts of Mashonaland West, which was delayed owing to logistical challenges, was finally conducted peacefully yesterday.
Elections team leader for the province and Zanu PF National Secretary for Security Cde Lovemore Matuke said the announcement of winners would be done at the party headquarters.
By yesterday evening, counting and tallying of the polls were still being done across the province with unverified reports claiming the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Mary Mliswa-Chikoka and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Cde Kindness Paradza could be the frontrunners in a tight contest also involving outgoing youth chairman, Cde Vengai Musengi and war veterans provincial chairman, Cde Happison Muchechetere.
On reports of alleged violence in Harare, Cde Bimha said the security department was investigating the matter.
“We have received some reports of cases of violence particularly in Harare. We heard some reports of candidates who grabbed ballot papers and ran away. These issues are being investigated. The security department is working tirelessly to ensure that all those involved in any cases of violence are dealt with accordingly and they will go through our disciplinary machinery.”
Apart from bad weather, other hitches included long distances from command centres and bad terrain.
He expressed that there has been, as expected, a few hitches here and there with most being attended to timeously.
Zanu PF Secretary for External Affairs Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi who was leading the team supervising elections in Harare said the vote counting process in Harare Province had been completed
“Vote counting in Harare has been completed. We have already submitted the results of contesting candidates to the command centre. Results will be announced by the National Command Centre at the party headquarters,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.
In Harare Province, outgoing acting provincial chairperson Cde Godwills Masimirembwa is seeking the top provincial post in the main wing election against former vice chair Cde Godfrey Gomwe.
Last night, Zanu PF Secretary for War Veterans Cde Douglas Mahiya, who is leading the election supervision team in Matabeleland North Province confirmed that they were only left with results from two districts.
“In Matabeleland North voting ended on Tuesday by 5pm. We are receiving results from districts. Out of the total seven districts, we are only left with two districts,” said Cde Mahiya.
He said by today, they will be sending the results to the National Command Centre.
The main contest in Masvingo is for the post of party provincial chairperson pitting the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Ezra Chadzamira, who is also the immediate past chair, against his former vice chair Cde Robson Mavhenyengwa, the legislator for Zaka North.
Candidates who contested for the chairmanship position in Mashonaland Central main wing are Cdes Kazembe Kazembe and Tafadzwa Musarara, while women’s league candidates are Cdes Tsitsi Gezi and Patience Tapomha. All the four are from Mazowe district.
There are five candidates for the youth wing among them Cdes Saunyama Dzimbiti, Tawanda Gezi, Blessing Murendo, Emerson Raradza and Pijiwest Nhamburo.
In Matabeleland South, four candidates including the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Cde Mangaliso Ndlovu, acting provincial chairman Cde Never Khanye, and two war veterans, Cdes Matthias Siqhosa and Jabulani Bango squared up for the provincial main wing chairmanship.
Cde Gladys Tlou from Beitbridge, Cde Rona Moyo (former Chair Women’s League), Cde Sindisiwe Nleya from Plumtree, and Primary and Secondary Education Minister Evelyn Ndlovu contested the provincial Women’ League chair, while Cdes Langton Maphosa and Nkosilomusa Langa stood for the Youth League.