via Mugabe desperate bid to salvage Mnangagwa’s succession prospects ZimbabweMail Staff Reporter 14 November 2013
THE Zanu-PF Politburo will take a decision on provincial election results in Mashonaland Central only after receiving both the results and the report from the presiding team, President Mugabe has said.
Zanu PF faction believed to be led by Vice-President (VP) Joice Mujuru appears to be gaining more ground in Zanu PF’s intricate succession battle.
But in a dranatic twist which sources said was Mugabe’s bid to salvage prospects of his favoured successor Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, allegations of irregularities plagued Zanu-PF elections in Mashonaland Central Province where incumbent chairman Dickson Mafios was challenged by Luke Mushore.
The allegations are that, voting in Mashonaland Central, which was supposed to be conducted in one day last Saturday was extended to Sunday but six districts failed to vote. Voting was still outstanding in Mt Darwin East, Chimanja, Guruve, Kemutamba and Nyahunzvi A and Nyahunzvi; Mazowe South and North, Eskbank and Galloway, when Mushore was unofficially declared the winner. There were also widespread but unconfirmed reports of voting irregularities across the province.
Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said he had been instructed by President Mugabe to share with the media that Zanu-PF’s highest decision-making body outside congress was still to be briefed on and to take a decision on the Mashonaland Central provincial elections.
“Tell the media that I have told you that the Politburo has not as yet received results from Mashonaland Central province. Equally, the Politburo is still to receive a report which accompanies the same,’’ Mr Charamba said.
“It is only when the Politburo has been favoured with both the results and the accompanying report that it will then be in a position to study both before taking a decision,’’ he added.
VP appeared to be tightening her grip on power following yesterday’s victory by Luke Mushore, believed to belong to her faction, in the Mashonaland Central elections for the provincial chairmanship.
Mushore polled 12 905 votes beating former chairman Dick Mafios who garnered 12 424 votes to land the party’s top post in the province where Mujuru hails from.
Announcing the results at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo called on all party contestants to accept the outcome, amid reports that other losing candidates in the Midlands and Manicaland province where other alleged Mujuru allies Jason Machaya and John Mvundura romped to victory last week were challenging the results.
“The party and President (Robert Mugabe) made it clear that elections in Midlands and Manicaland are behind us. People must learn to accept defeat . . . They (losers) want power and to have it at any cost which is not possible,” Gumbo said.
To this end, President Mugabe has since met secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa to communicate the position which effectively means there is no confirmed or official result in Mashonaland Central province.
Before Mashonaland Central, provincial elections with contested outcomes were also held in Manicaland and the Midlands provinces where John Mvundura and Jason Machaya were declared winners over Monica Mutsvangwa and Larry Mavhima who both cried foul citing several irregularities. The Midlands result has since been challenged on grounds that several districts did not vote and a final decision is still pending.
In light of the contested outcomes in Manicaland and Midlands provinces, the Zanu-PF leadership has been debating whether to set aside both results and start afresh, or accept the results of the two provinces and insist that elections in the remaining seven provinces be done in line with the party’s electoral rules and guidelines that stipulate that elections be conducted and concluded within one day.
The Zanu-PF constitution does not provide for the staggering of elections which must be done simultaneously within set time frames and on the basis of verified membership registers but this has not been adhered to as the three provinces that have voted so far have had staggered elections.
Elections in the three provinces have also been beset by failures by way of party registers, deployment of voting material, composition of supervisory teams, and communication of results, all of which need to be straightened out before the remaining seven provinces vote.
It is not yet clear when the pending elections will be held given the myriad issues that need rectification in accordance with the Party’s constitution, rules and regulations.
In the Midlands race, Machaya defeated Larry Mavhima, widely believed to be a close ally of Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, leader of the other Zanu PF faction.
In Manicaland, Mvundura won the Manicaland provincial chair last week, after Monica Mutsvangwa, believed to be from the Mnangagwa camp withdrew from the race, citing numerous electoral irregularities.
Gumbo said elections for Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South would be held on the weekend of November 23 and 24.
Already, Mnangagwa appears to have been dealt a heavy blow in Masvingo where his suspected ally and incumbent chairperson Lovemore Matuke was recently suspended for giving former Reserve Bank adviser Munyaradzi Kereke the greenlight to contest in the parliamentary elections on a Zanu PF ticket ahead of the party’s preferred candidate, Elias Musakwa.
Gumbo confirmed Matuke was unlikely to contest as he remained suspended.
He nevertheless refuted allegations of deep-rooted factionalism in Zanu PF, insisting the party was united.
“There are no divisions within the party. We have a hierarchy comprising President Mugabe as leader, Vice-President Mujuru, national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo and secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and we all follow their directions,” he said