FORMER Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association Masvingo secretary-general, Western Ezra, is up in arms with Zanu PF provincial chairperson Ezra Chadzamira, whom he accuses of rigging the Masvingo West parliamentary primary elections.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Western, who commands support from the former liberation war fighters, has presented a damning petition to the party headquarters accusing Chadzamira of being the judge and the prosecutor during the polls, marred by violence, chaos, rigging, vote-buying and manipulation, forcing the party to have re-runs in other constituencies.
In a leaked petition sent to the ruling party’s national administration secretary, Obert Mpofu, Western said Chadzamira abused his position to rig the internal polls in his favour.
“This primary election was not free and fair due to the following: the sitting MP, who is the provincial chair manipulated the whole process in Masvingo West constituency. He supervised the elections. He exercised vote rigging and buying, splashing $2 notes, giving bread, biscuits and drinks during campaign period.
“In most of the wards, cell registers were missing. On of April 29, he supplied returning officers with food and refreshments. He tampered with ballot boxes at Fern Valley and agents refused to sign,” the petition read.
Chadzamira, however, said he had not seen the petition, as it was forwarded to Harare, but said he had won fairly.
“I am not aware of the petition, it was not sent to me but to the party headquarters. But all I can say is that I won fairly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF is yet to have re-runs in disputed council elections in various wards countrywide, despite disputes and several petitions from aspiring councillors.
In a disputed council election in Masvingo, Ward 3, voting started late at Francis Aphiri Primary School, as contestants were haggling over an alleged bloated voters’ rolls.
The polls, like the parliamentary ones, were marred by violence, voter intimidation and some of the contestants also sent a petition to the party headquarters in a bid to nullify the results.
Allan Sibanda, a miner from Mashava, had the highest votes ahead of Taurai Mudzwiti and Benson Hwata.
Mudzwiti’s kith and kin were also allegedly missing from the voters’ roll, while in his support base, most voters were disenfranchised.
In ward 10 in Masvingo Urban, another dispute arose and a petition was also sent to Zanu PF headquarters and the party is yet to decide on the dispute.