Presidential adviser Chris Mutsvangwa has escalated his row with Zanu PF national political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, claiming in a letter that his alleged electoral defeat in the Norton parliamentary primary elections was engineered by the police officers in charge of the polls.
By Tatenda Chitagu/
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairman wrote to Rugeje on Wednesday claiming that the polls were held long after he had withdrawn from the race due to irregularities.
He confirmed authoring the letter when called by NewsDay yesterday.
“This letter is further to my cellphone call on May 2 to you Engelbert Rugeje-NPC [national political commissar] advising you that I was withdrawing from the polls. I unreservedly reject the results of the just held Zanu PF party polling in Norton. I also refuse to accept your announcement of Langton Mutendereki as the winner,” Mutsvangwa said.
He also cited the “unconstitutional use of the police” in an internal party election process, adding the police officers had rigged the polls by denying party members the right to vote.
“Of particular note is the fact that the cell register used for polling was illicitly compiled by Constance Shamu to solely further the illegal win of Langton Mutendereki. It is inconceivable that a politically active constituency such as Norton can only render less than 4 000 votes. I am busy collating evidence to back up the charges I have submitted,” Mutsvangwa said in the letter, which has gone viral on social media platforms.
Mutsvangwa’s letter came shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa roundly condemned his party for using the police in the party polls, saying he had not sanctioned their deployment.
Efforts to contact Rugeje for comment were fruitless, while Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo curtly said: “I have no comment on that matter.”