Violence, chaos rock Zanu PF primaries
VIOLENCE and chaos rocked Zanu PF primary elections in Harare over the weekend as the ruling party was forced to postpone the Kuwadzana East polls amid allegations of electoral malpractices.
This comes as the ruling party’s deadly tribal and factional demons are once again wreaking havoc in the former liberation movement, with officials in the capital now damagingly accusing each other of ballot manipulations.
It also comes as preparations for the pending district co-ordinating committee (DCC) polls around the country which were banned during the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe — have been overshadowed by allegations of bribery and other nefarious games.
Zanu PF Harare provincial commissariat Kudakwashe Damson told the Daily News yesterday that the ruling party was receiving complaints of electoral malpractices during the polls.
“We are not ready to release the results of the elections because we have received several complaints from candidates who are alleging that the elections were not fair.
“We did not do the Kuwadzana election because there are issues that must be resolved there,” Damson said.
Despite the party postponing the Kuwadzana East primaries, violence erupted in the constituency after some candidates allegedly distributed money to party members who ended up fighting for it.
“There were running battles here in Kuwadzana as people fought over money which was being splashed by (name supplied) using runners.
“Voters were put into groups of 10 with one of them tasked with distributing the money. Trouble started when those who were handling the money in some of the groups did not give it out,” a party insider told the Daily News yesterday.
Damson last week accused Harare provincial women’s league boss Betty Kaseke of disappearing with the party’s voters’ roll — amid claims that she allegedly intended to manipulate structures in the Kuwadzana constituency, where she is contesting.
“We have information to the effect that she (Kaseke) went to the commissariat department yesterday (Wednesday) where she managed to convince the people manning the office to give her the cell lists (voters’ roll).
“She took them away and our worry is that they could be tampered with by either adding some more names or deleting others.
“We will, however, put in place mechanisms to ensure that whatever she will do with the lists, will not affect the credibility of the elections because we are going to be using the Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) voters’ roll as well as the cell ones,” Damson told the 2
“We are also wary of the fact that the probability of candidates bussing voters from other constituencies that are not going to have by-elections is 100 percent.
“So, we have to make sure that we are thorough in matching the Zec voters’ roll and ours,” Damson further told the Daily News.
But Keseke dismissed the accusations as false and being peddled by her detractors.
The ruling party is holding its primary elections in Harare following the recent recalls of eight legislators and 18 councillors by the MDC, as well as the recent death of Kuwadzana East legislator Miriam Mushayi.
The vacant parliamentary constituencies are Epworth, Glen Norah, Harare Central, Highfield East, Highfield West, Kuwadzana, Kuwadzana East, Mufakose and St Mary’s.
This comes as Zanu PF is also preparing for DCC polls which have been marred by allegations of dirty money changing hands and ugly factional fights.
So deep are the suspicions in this regard, that the former liberation movement has now roped in its security department to investigate these allegations and to deal with the growing ructions in general, which have sullied the party’s preparations for the pending DCC elections.
The DCC structures elect Zanu PF’s 10 provincial executives — where the party and President Emmerson Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo from.
The party’s DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and former vice president Joice Mujuru’s battles to succeed Mugabe.
Then, Mnangagwa’s group had gained control of most regions, including Mujuru’s Mashonaland Central province — putting him in a strong position ahead of the party’s 2014 congress.