via Mnangagwa fingered in rigging Zanu PF elections 28 October 2013 The Zimbabwe Mail
The wife of outspoken a Deputy minister pulled out of the Zanu PF provincial elections over the weekend claiming the chaotic vote was rigged.
Monica Mutsvangwa, wife of deputy foreign affairs minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, was eying the Manicaland provincial chair but pulled out of the contest claiming gross irregularities. She has fingered Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the plot.
Senator Mutsvangwa was challenging incumbent John Mvundura in a process marred chaos blamed on turf fights between rival factions linked to vice president Joice Mujuru and justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa
“I realised that it was important to withdraw my candidature so that all the grey areas in the conduct of the elections are addressed. My team picked up irregularities in almost all the places where voting was taking place,” Mutsvangwa told reporters.
“People were being intimidated not to vote for me and the voters’ registration was not in order. The main problem is that the outgoing chairman, Mvundura is superintending an election in which he is also a candidate and this gives him an unfair advantage over me.
“Returning officers were impartial. In all districts which I had an upper hand, they were starved of ballot papers. Remedial action should be taken. A re-run is important because we want our electoral processes to have integrity.”
“I do not know (anything concerning) those claims of vote rigging since it was not brought to my attention. Right now we are doing reports of people to come with the results,” he said.
“What I can say about the elections is that our people have matured since they were conducted in a peaceful environment. We never received any reports of violence and that is all I can say about the elections.”
Mnangagwa, who led the team that organised the polls, also said from where he stood the process had been credible.
“(She) submitted her letter of withdrawal late yesterday (Saturday) night and I asked her to put all the allegations of unfair practice in writing,” said Mnangagwa, who is also the party’s legal affairs secretary.
Voting was delayed in various provinces including in the Midlands where polling only began on Sunday while in Mashonaland West the vote had to be called off.
“From the reports I received from 10 out of 11 constituencies, nine of them confirmed that everything went well, while in one of the constituencies some irregularities were cited and we will look into them as a team,” he said.
“Harare delayed dispatching election materials and this saw some people voting (on Sunday) as it took a bit of time to take the materials to all the corners of the province.
“We are happy with the maturity of our cadres as they patiently waited for the arrival of election material. This is highly commended.
Deep-seated factional fighting yesterday raised its ugly head as the ruling Zanu PF party failed to conduct provincial elections in some districts countrywide due to disagreements, it has been learnt.
By 6pm, the provincial elections had not started in some areas in the Midlands province as chaos continued to plague the polls due to factionalism, which has threatened to divide President Robert Mugabe’s party.
The provincial elections were supposed to be held in all the country’s 10 provinces on Saturday, but the party suspended polls in Mugabe’s home are in Mashonaland West as the province was
reportedly not yet ready, while in the Midlands province, there were no ballot papers for the voting.
Following Saturday’s problems, elections in the Midlands province were moved to yesterday, but got off to a slow start with some polling officers only deployed to various districts where they were supposed to conduct the polls around 6pm.
Zanu PF central committee member Douglas Tapfumanei confirmed the development.
“The process is very slow and we doubt it will be completed today (yesterday) in Mberengwa,” he said.
“We have just finished deploying those conducting the elections.”
In Kwekwe, districts in Mbizo had not yet started casting ballots by 5pm although counting of ballots at the party’s Kwekwe Central office was underway.
Provincial Minister of State and Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairman Jason Machaya is facing an acid test from his vice-chairman Larry Mavhima, a close ally of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for the chairmanship.
Party sources yesterday said the provincial elections were a de facto contest between a faction loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Mnangagwa, the party secretary for legal affairs, who were reportedly positioning themselves to succeed Mugabe.
“If Machaya wins, it will be a message of approval for Mujuru in the succession race, while Mavhima’s leadership will be a clear approval for Mnangagwa,” the source said.
Zanu PF national political commissar Webster Shamu told the State-controlled media at the weekend that the postponement of elections in Mashonaland West was meant to give the party an opportunity to investigate allegations of vote-buying and imposition of candidates.
A senior Zanu PF official told our sister paper The Standard that Mugabe had phoned party secretary of administration Didymus Mutasa instructing him to halt the elections.
In Manicaland, reports indicated that current chairperson John Mvundura was on course to retain his seat as he was leading against Zanu PF senator Monica Mutsvangwa.
Reports were still trickling in from various parts of the country including Bulawayo, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East provinces, while polls in Matabeleland North and South were reportedly postponed.