Do-or-die weekend polls on cards

via Do-or-die weekend polls on cards | The Financial Gazette 28 Nov 2013

THE ZANU-PF commissariat is under pressure to ensure that weekend elections are conducted in a peaceful environment amid indications that the department could be restructured if it fails to pass the test.The party had planned to conduct elections in the country’s 10 political provinces in one day but could not achieve the feat owing to internecine infighting triggered by allegations of vote buying, the imposition of candidates and outright rigging in some cases.

So far, provincial elections have been conducted in Manicaland, the Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces only.

Except for Mashonaland Central where Dickson Mafios was ousted by Luke Mushore as provincial chairman, John Mvundura and Jason Machaya defended their turfs successfully in Manicaland and the Midlands.

There were attempts to have re-runs in the three provinces due to the alleged irregularities, but the Politburo resolved on Saturday to uphold the results.

Focus has now shifted to the remaining seven provinces — Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Harare, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and Masvingo.

ZANU-PF insiders told the Financial Gazette yesterday that the party’s commissariat risked being re-organised in the event that it fails to put its house in order.

“Everyone if blaming the commissariat for the problems confronting the party and I don’t think they would be able to get away with it in the event that the weekend elections follow a familiar trend,” said a party insider.

In Masvingo, three new candidates — two sitting legislators and a former lawmaker — all from Chiredzi will square off for the chairmanship following the suspension of Lovemore Matuke.

In Harare province, incumbent Amos Midzi would square off with Jaison Pasade — Member of Parliament for Mt Pleasant.

In Bulawayo, Callistus Ndlovu is being challenged by his deputy and former chairman, Killian Sibanda and Douglas Ndlovu.

In Matabeleland North, incumbent provincial chairperson Richard Moyo is squaring off with his deputy Reeds Dube.

Mashonaland West chairperson John Mafa is being challenged by former chairperson Phillip Chiyangwa, Hurungwe West Temba Mliswa, Nimrod Chiminya and Blessed Geza.

In Mashonaland East, provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde will square off against Phillemon Mutongi and Samuel Maisiri.

In Matabeleland South, incumbent Andrew Langa will stand against Lloyd Siyoka.