ZANU PF youth in Mazowe West constituency have petitioned the ruling party’s election commission chairperson, Engelbert Rugeje, accusing Mashonaland East provincial chairman, Kazembe Kazembe of tampering with the cell registers in a bid to manipulate Sunday’s primary elections to his own advantage.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Kazembe, who is the sitting MP, is being challenged by six candidates, Grain Millers Association chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara, Anastencia Mazikana, Chrispen Mataire, Richard Chiorongwe, Constance Sabau and Christopher Makwezva.
In a letter to Rugeje dated April 24, the youth, who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisals, accused Kazembe of tampering with the cell registers.
“We regret to bring to your attention the unfortunate conduct of our co-opted provincial chairman, Cde Kazembe, who is trying to manipulate the cell sheets by removing persons who he deems to support other candidates,” read the letter.
The youth said for the sake of avoiding a sham outcome that will not be fair, credible and transparent, the cell sheets must be subjected to an inspection.
“The cell sheets must be laid for inspection by cell chairpersons so that all party members across the constituency ensure that their names are on the register before elections,” they said.
“Since Cde Kazembe is now a candidate, he must cease, during the course of this short campaign period, to give orders to district offices and party employees. He is currently force marshalling the entire party systems to work for him.”
The youth alleged Kazembe’s associates including one known as Muwandi, were trailing other candidates, as they move into the district campaigning while instilling fear in the process.
“Please NPC, interdict this behaviour, as it is likely to lead to violence,” read the letter pleading with Rugeje to personally supervise the primary election.
But Kazembe dismissed the claims and accused his rivals of seeking to malign him ahead of the party’s internal polls.
“Today, it’s about cells when I have absolutely nothing to do with cells. Cell verification is done by the national commissariat and it’s being spearheaded by General Shungu,” Kazembe said.
“I refer you to him for his comment. There is definitely someone who has realised that he is losing the Mazowe West primary elections and he has decided to use the papers to demonise me.”
Kazembe said it was not by coincidence that all of a sudden there were negative stories against him.
“It’s understood. It’s election time. The people in Mazowe West know me very well. I live with them and they know what kind of a person I am and they will not be misled by these baseless and malicious allegations.”
Rugeje and Shungu were not available for comment.