Disgruntled Manicaland Zanu PF members yesterday claimed there was massive rigging of the party District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections at the weekend accusing the provincial leadership led by Mike Madiro of imposing candidates.
Although strenuous efforts to contact Madiro since Monday proved fruitless as his mobile number was not reachable, Zanu PF provincial deputy spokesperson Charles Samuriwo confirmed the DCC elections were a sham.
Samuriwo said: The whole process was a shame. We did not have resources to hold credible elections and the chairman is justified.
The whole process did not fulfill minimum requirements for our standards and anyone who says the move to nullify the results was to rig elections is ill-advised.
As of yesterday, results of the DCC elections at which only 204 voters cast their ballot in Chipinge and Makoni were still not out.
Candidates who spoke to NewsDay expressed concern at the way the elections were handled. Some threatened to take up the matter with former ruling party Political Commissar, Webster Shamhu. Guy Mutasa, who was contesting for Makoni chairmanship against incumbent Albert Nyakuedzwa, a suspected Madiro ally, blasted the provincial head for the mess.
The ballot papers were carried in OK supermarket plastic bags. After voting the plastic bags were taken to police stations where we were advised that the counting process would take place. The intention of using plastic bags is so clear to us because they wanted to rig, said Mutasa.
Mutasa added that the results were later nullified for no reasons and the war veterans and war collaborators who were election observers were equally shocked at the provincial leaderships conduct.
Another candidate who preferred anonymity weighed in: People voted in Makoni on Saturday and results were nullified before they were even announced.
There were no reasons for nullifying them. What actually happened is that the outcome came out contrary to what the provincial leaders hoped. The matter should be taken up to Shamu because they are taking us for granted. We have lost faith (in the leadership).
Nathaniel Mhiripiri, another candidate in Makoni DCC said the matter was sensitive and refused to discuss it over the phone.
According to sources in Chipinge, elections went on well but party followers were shocked over the non-announcement of the results. A senior Zanu-PF provincial member who requested anonymity said there were concerted efforts to rig elections and impose other peoples preferred candidates.
Results were supposed to be announced at the centre. What happened in Chipinge is a joke which insults the party, said the official.
The two DCC elections have brought to the fore divisions in Zanu PF in Manicaland where they only managed six parliamentary seats in 2008, with MDC-T garnering 20.