THE losing Zanu PF Makokoba House of Assembly aspiring candidates have warned the politburo’s decision to ignore their appeal for a re-run will cost the ruling party during elections as most of their supporters have vowed to only vote for the President, but dump the council and parliamentary candidates who allegedly cheated them.
BY SILAS NKALA
Nothiwani Dlodlo and Peter Baka Nyoni had contested against incumbent legislator Tshinga Dube in the primary elections for Makokoba constituency which Dube won. But the two contenders challenged his victory citing votebuying, intimidation, use of police officers as presiding polling officers, bussing of supporters and blocking of huge numbers of their supporters from voting.
They filed their appeals to the party’s national electoral commission and national political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje seeking nullification of poll results and an order for a re-run.
Makokoba constituency was among numerous constituencies in the country which had similar complaints and appealed to the commissariat.
However, the politburo has since deliberated and ordered a re-run in very few constituencies, Makokoba excluded.
Nyoni said he was equally surprised that Makokoba was excluded considering the glaring evidence of a flawed electoral process.
“I was surprised that in the list which has been published by the politburo, Makokoba does not feature, but anyway we stand by what the politburo is saying though it is clear it will affect the party during the elections,” Nyoni said.
“They [politburo] have not communicated to us individually and I think they dealt with the appeals as a whole and came up with that decision. However, our supporters feel disappointed though I cannot tell what they will actually do during elections. But what they have told me is that they are disappointed and feel let down by the party when those who cheat them are endorsed as candidates.”
Nyoni said some of the supporters openly told him that they will only vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and dump the MP and councillors.
Dlodlo said it was a pity that the so-called senior political and retired colonel only garnered about 330 votes out of about 28 000 registered voters.
“I wonder if he will be able to bus in voters in the general elections using LED Travel and Tours bus. Will he use Constituency Development Fund for general elections?
With a total of less than 500 voters the whole constituency, thus a clear sign for a re-run,” Dlodlo said.
“The Makokoba primary elections turnout is a big embarrassment and shame. People were denied to vote. Most voters could not access the Westgate and Burombo voting centres, as the bus was carrying only Dube’s supporters. Most of Zanu PF candidates have no Matabeleland background so how will Bulawayo develop.”