via Zanu-PF provincial polls called off | The Herald November 19, 2013 by Lloyd Gumbo
ZANU-PF provincial elections that were scheduled for seven of the country’s 10 provinces this Saturday have been called off in the wake of the irregularities and contested outcomes that characterised elections in Manicaland, the Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces.
An unprecedented special Politburo meeting has been slated for Saturday where the party is expected to put a stop to the chaos that rocked the provincial contests.
Zanu-PF national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, announced the development yesterday after the Ad Hoc Committee mandated to superintend the remaining seven provincial elections met team leaders and their respective teams including chairpersons of provinces at the party’s national headquarters.
“Besides updating the teams on preparation for the said elections, the national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, informed the meeting that there will be a Politburo meeting on Saturday 23 November 2013 at Party Headquarters, Harare.
“This has necessitated the postponement of the provincial elections in the remaining seven provinces to a later date,’’ Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said.
“All teams must continue with the necessary preparations including certification of registers and candidates. Once the exact date is announced, the elections will be held in one day from 7am-7pm.
“In the meantime the Ad Hoc Committee appeals to all party leaders to refrain from conducting party affairs though the media. The revolutionary party has a clear constitution and explicit structures to be respected in its daily operations. The party’s motto is equally clear – Unity, Peace and Development,” he said.
Elections in Manicaland, the Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces have been beset by failure by way of party registers, deployment of voting material, composition of supervisory teams, and communication of results, all of which begged to be straightened out before the remaining seven provinces could vote.
Voting, which was supposed to be conducted in one day, was at times stretched to three days, and even then several administrative and party districts failed to vote.
President Mugabe has since announced that the Politburo was still to receive the Mashonaland Central results and the accompanying report from the presiding officers, a development which means there is no official result on Mashonaland Central.
In the Midlands province about 15 party districts in Shurugwi north failed to vote amid reports in some areas people voted at night but Cde Jason Machaya was declared the winner over Cde Larry Mavhima regardless.
The Midlands result has, however, since been challenged on the grounds that several districts did not vote and a final decision is still pending.
The situation was the same in Mashonaland Central province where Cde Luke Mushore was declared winner over Cde Dickson Mafiosi with six districts still to vote.
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 although this has not been adhered to as the three provinces that have voted so far have had staggered elections.