Chombo mired in poll rigging claims

via Chombo mired in poll rigging claims – DailyNews Live 8 JANUARY 2015 by FUNGI KWARAMBA

HARARE – Top Zanu PF officials including the party secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, have been sucked into an alleged central committee elections rigging scandal that threatens to further divide the ruling party.

The Daily News has in its possession a letter addressed to President Robert Mugabe and written by war veterans, detailing how political heavyweights in Mashonaland West allegedly flouted the ruling party’s constitution and went on to handpick their preferred candidates for positions in the powerful central committee.

The letter fingers Chombo, with war veterans from Kadoma claiming that “there was no election conducted to choose central committee members” — a direct violation of the party constitution.

Undersigned by retired colonels Mhidza and Maeresera, the letter also paints a sad picture regarding the way elections were allegedly conducted in most parts of the province.

“In the case of Mhondoro-Ngezi constituency, candidates forwarded as prospective members of the CC (central committee) and eventually recommended as elected had just been convicted of criminal offences,” read part of the letter.

It said Mike Gava, the Mhondoro-Ngezi legislator, was elected the central committee member for Mhondoro, notwithstanding the fact that he had been convicted for possession of an unregistered firearm.

Zanu PF’s electoral rules and regulations that were adopted last year disqualify anyone with a criminal record from taking any party positions.

Another case that the freedom fighters raised was that of senior party officials nominating “two members into the central committee coming from one cell, one branch and one district”.

“We are not happy with the way Cde I. Chombo handled the whole process. Whenever elections are held it is Chombo who comes to Kadoma to impose his preferred candidates.

“This time it was Cde Rosa Ngomalala and Cde Leonard Whenjere who reside in the same cell. It looks like he has a hidden agenda. What he does is contrary to the party constitution,” lamented the war veterans.

Chombo was not immediately available for comment yesterday.

And as the ructions in Zanu PF rumble on, the war veterans have also accused some of the people that Chombo allegedly sided with of having belonged to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s camp.

In the letter that also sucks in fallen party heavyweight Webster Shamu, the disgruntled veterans claim that Kadoma legislator Fani Phiri and Ngomalala campaigned for Mujuru allies Themba Mliswa and

Constance Shamu respectively, in the run-up to the elections.

But Phiri ridiculed the letter yesterday saying that it had been written by losing candidates who were still bitter about their losses and did not want to concede defeat.

“I have never been the manager of Cde Themba Mliswa. The people who are writing that letter are actually the ones who have a housing scheme in the name of Mai Mujuru here in Kadoma.”

The letter, which many say is just a tip of the iceberg of widespread irregularities that characterised Zanu PF’s controversial electoral processes, also sucks in legislators like Peter Haritatos.

“Cde Chombo also favours Peter Haritatos, MP for Muzvezve who is the financier of his faction. Cde Haritatos is always uncontested either as central committee member or MP.

“On 20 September 2014 Cde Haritatos invited Mai Mujuru at Impalavale farm for a dubious field day. Dubious in the sense that it was held in

September and other members who oppose what they were doing were chased away.

“We are saying these people must not be accepted as CC members because they were dubiously appointed and that we cannot mix oil and water,” the letter says.