via Zanu PF internal wars escalate as chaos mars provincial polls December 1, 2013 The Standard
Chaos, protests and administrative hiccups once again marred Zanu PF provincial elections in several areas across the country yesterday, despite a heavy presence of security forces helping voters cast their ballots and controlling queues.
The faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru was poised to sweep most of the provinces amid allegations of widespread vote rigging.
Sources at the Zanu PF National Command Centre confirmed that all was not well with the elections. They said Energy minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire who was presiding over the elections in Mashonaland West reported that since presiding officers had not been trained, the Central Intelligence Organisation, Police, District Administrator’s office and war veterans were roped in to facilitate the voting process.
“There is maximum co-operation from CIO and police,” Mavhaire said in a report.
In Masvingo, team leader, Goche complained of a shortage of ballot papers, while result slips had to be photocopied. In Matabeleland North, there were missing registers in Binga, Hwange, Lupane and Nkayi.
Several candidates and voters interviewed by The Standard yesterday alleged that the voting process was seriously flawed to favour certain candidates.
Sanyati senator, Blessing Runesu Geza, who was contesting the Mashonaland West provincial chairpersonship, said ballot boxes never arrived at most centres in his constituency and other areas, while names were also missing in the voters’ roll.
“It’s a disaster because people were not able to exercise their democratic right to choose their preferred candidates,” he said. Killian Sibanda, who was contesting elections in Bulawayo, also cried foul saying 70% of the members were not able to vote as their names did not appear in the voters’ register which originated from Harare. He said Local Government minister, Ignatious Chombo who was presiding over the elections in Bulawayo was alerted of the problem, but said this would be looked into after the polls. “I do not know who tampered with the voters roll in Harare,” he said.
By 11 o’clock, most areas in Harare, like Mbare and Rugare, had not yet started voting as ballot papers took long to get to their designated points. There were reports that voters started demonstrating in areas like Chitungwiza while in Kuwadzana by 5:30pm voting had not yet started following complaints of missing districts which were supposed to vote at the station.
In Masvingo there was also chaos at most voting centres with voters at Farmers Hall in Masvingo rural stopping proceedings claiming that some polling agents had been excluded from the voting process. They maintained their stance until the agents were allowed into the hall. In some areas voters complained that they would not vote until a list of voters has been published.
Voters at Rujeko stormed out of a polling station protesting the decision to have them vote only for one candidate. The voters refused to vote until the matter was resolved declaring that no voting would take place until the matter was resolved.
In Bikita West, matters came to a head with voters protesting over their removal from the register. The voters claimed that this was because they were sympathetic to constituency MP Munyaradzi Kereke.
In areas like Mhangura, voters also staged a protest after receiving ballot papers without some candidates’ names.
In Matabeleland North, Sydney Sekeramayi had to call for a media briefing to explain the challenges which ranged from delayed to missing ballot papers.
But Zanu PF party secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa last night maintained that the elections went on according to plan, with nothing eventful taking place.
“What incidences are you talking about? The elections have gone according to plan and we have not received any reports of disturbances,” he said.
MUJURU FACTION POISED FOR VICTORY
A politburo member said the Joice Mujuru faction was poised to win up to eight provinces.
“It does not matter whether the elections were chaotic or not. What is important is that Mother [Mujuru] is now as good as the next President,” boasted the Mujuru loyalist.
But another senior Zanu PF from a rival faction calling itself Mugabe Five Year Team accused some politicians from the Mujuru faction of manipulating the polls to ensure that she won at any cost.
“What the politburo agreed was disregarded. They are in charge of the whole process and created their own registers in order to disenfranchise rival supporters,” he alleged.