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Madiro accused of imposing candidates

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Some 70 Zanu PF provincial members have been staging a demonstration at the party’s offices in Mutare, accusing provincial chairperson Mike Madiro of imposing candidates in the recent district elections in the region.

The demonstration started on Sunday evening and by yesterday several district representatives including ward chairpersons were still camped at the provincial offices where they vowed they would not leave until Madiro and his deputy Dorothy Chitima are dismissed.

When NewsDay visited the offices, the activists, clad in their party regalia, were preparing lunch and vowed not leave the place unless Madiro explained the issue to them.

“We are demonstrating against candidate imposition, doctoring of the voters’ roll and clear massive election rigging that we witnessed in the DCC (district co-ordinating committee) elections,” said one of the demonstrators who refused to be named.

“It was clear to us that in elections held on Saturday, Joseph Mavhiza won with a landslide, but to our surprise one Muparutsa was declared the winner. This has happened in Nyanga, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Makoni.We cannot allow this to continue. This is not Madiro’s party.
We need to stand up and defend our party from unscrupulous people like him.”

Others who spoke to NewsDay confirmed growing factionalism in the two rival camps –one allegedly led by Defence minister Emmerson Munangagwa to which Madiro reportedly belongs to and another by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

“Here in Manicaland (the) Mujuru faction has gained ground and most of the winners of the elections are from the Mujuru faction. However, the chairman is a close ally of Mnangagwa and you can see this by the manner in which he (Madiro) is handling the DCC elections,” said another activist.

Strenuous efforts to contact Madiro on his mobile phone were fruitless yesterday.

But, Zanu PF provincial secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera said he was unaware of the demonstration and warned “stern action” against the disgruntled supporters.

“I don’t know of any demonstration, actually I am in Buhera conducting DCC elections. Those people are just unruly and they have nothing to do that is why they come and sit at the offices. In the event that senior members are involved, disciplinary action is going to be taken because it’s a true demonstration of ignorance of our party procedures,” he said.

Recently violence broke out at polling stations in Makoni after the provincial leadership allegedly tried to impose their own candidates. In what many felt was a clear sign of election rigging, voters cast their ballots in supermarket plastic bags.

There was an outcry, forcing the election results to be nullified.

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