Kasukuwere in poll rigging storm

Source: Kasukuwere in poll rigging storm | The Herald November 1, 2016

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Shocking details have emerged showing that Zanu-PF candidate in the recent Norton by-election Cde Ronald Chindedza was imposed by the party’s national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere after losing in primary elections.

An internal audio clip of party members leaked to the media revealed that dirty money exchanged hands to inflate votes in favour of Cde Chindedza. It is alleged in the clip,  that Cde Chindedza only polled seven votes, but the results were “cooked” at the instigation of Cde Kasukuwere and he ended up having 257 votes.

As a result of the imposition, Zanu-PF eventually lost the seat to independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa. Cde Kasukuwere switched off his phone yesterday the moment this reporter introduced himself.

Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said the party needed to listen to the audio clip before pronouncing itself. “I want to listen to it and study it so that we can see what we can do thereafter,” he said.

One of the people speaking in the clip is believed to be Cde Robert Kahanana who is Zanu-PF Harare deputy provincial chair. Cde Kahanana yesterday did not deny the authenticity of the audio clip.

He, however, referred all questions to Zanu-PF Harare provincial secretary for information and publicity Cde Abisha Ushewokunze saying he knew everything that transpired relating to the Norton primary elections.

“I think it’s better that you talk to the provincial secretary for information and publicity Cde Ushewokunze,” he said. “He (Cde Ushewokunze) knows what happened and he will give you all what you are looking for.”

Contacted for a comment Cde Ushewokunze said: “It’s not professional for me to comment on something I have not authenticated or received officially from the party. Do you mind asking your source maybe they have a clear position on its origins or the people involved?”

According to the audio clip, Cde Kasukuwere ordered the inflation of the results through his crony, Harare provincial commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe. Cde Mashayamombe was not picking up his mobile phone yesterday.

Initially, according to the clip, people involved in the election process refused to manipulate the results but only gave in after being told that the order had come from Cde Kasukuwere. Some police officers who were present were called to witness the manipulation.

“Ava vauya kwandiri vari kuti ndichinje number hanzi zvabva kuna political commissar (national) VaKasukuwere asi vauya through Shadreck Mashayamombe,” said one of the speakers in the clip.

These developments come in the wake of President Mugabe’s remarks last week lashing out at the party’s top leadership for allowing Cde Chindedza to contest on the party’s ticket. President Mugabe said Cde Chindedza had a dirty past and was not popular with the Norton populace.