ZANU PF political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje is reportedly under pressure to make urgent determination on hundreds of appeals filed by party candidates, who lost in the just-ended chaotic party primary elections.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/ FELIX MACHIWENYIKA
The majority of the losing candidates are demanding nullification of the results and a re-start of the process, claiming the primary elections held at the weekend were fraught with irregularities and could not be deemed as free and fair.
Rugeje yesterday declined to comment on the issue, accusing the media of fuelling tension by prematurely publishing unofficial results before they were confirmed by his office.
“I will call you when I am ready. I won’t comment on anything before I announce officially, who won and who lost the primaries. It is my process and you have to wait,” he said.
Since Monday, Rugeje’s office has reportedly been inundated with complaints from various parts of the country, with some losing candidates claiming manipulation of the voters’ rolls, violence, vote-buying and stuffing of ballot boxes by rivals.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Zanu PF members, believed to be sympathetic to the party’s losing Harare South losing parliamentary aspirant, Douglas Mahiya, yesterday stormed the party headquarters demonstrating against winning candidate, Tongai Mnangagwa, whom they accused of manipulating the voters’ roll to disadvantage his rival.
The ruling party activists threatened to vote opposition candidates in the upcoming elections if their demands for a re-run were ignored.
Tongai is believed to be related to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and was allegedly imposed in the constituency.
Mnangagwa has, however, described the internal polls as healthy.