RETIRED army chaplain and lawyer, Similo Jonah Ndlovu has disputed his defeat by sitting Gwanda North MP, Madodana Sibanda in the just-ended Zanu PF primary elections, claiming the voting process was flawed, as evidenced by his name which was missing from the ballot papers.
BY TALENT GUMPO/ SHARON SIBINDI
Ndlovu told Southern Eye on Wednesday that his name was removed from the ballot papers.
“I was accepted to represent the constituency, when curriculum vitaes were submitted after the people asked me to represent them in Parliament. Six names appeared for the constituency, were Madodana Sibanda, Fidas Mthombeni, Reverend Similo Jonah Ndlovu (myself) and three others. We were given four days to campaign,” he said.
“I have a huge following in the constituency, but while burying my son, Phakamile Ncube, who was shot in South Africa, my name was removed and another name with a Ndlovu surname was written in ink.”
Ndlovu said when he went to vote he discovered that his name was missing from the ballot papers.
“I received phone calls from all over the constituency, people saying they could not vote because my name was not among the candidates,” he said.
He said Sibanda had given him a $70 bribe inorder for him not to reveal that he was a foreigner in the constituency.
“Sibanda begged me, during the four days of campaigning, not to say a word about him being from outside Gwanda,” he said.
“The people still want someone from Gwanda to represent them, not a foreigner. People do not want Sibanda. He bribed officials to remove my name from the ballot paper and voters were shocked that my name and picture did not appear on paper, knowing clearly that I am the winner.
“I, therefore, declare that I am the winner of the Zanu PF primary elections, Gwanda North.”
He said he was waiting for Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa to resolve the issue.
Ndlovu alleged that Sibanda was from Matobo.
Sibanda denied both the bribe allegations and reports that he was not from Gwanda.
“I am the sitting MP for Gwanda North constituency and people in my constituency have always known that I am from outside Gwanda, so I do not know why he would claim that I paid him not to say a word about that,” he said.
“As for removing his name for the ballot paper, that I have no control over, find out from the Zanu PF head office in Harare.”
Meanwhile, Zanu PF youths from Bulawayo South are threatening to stage a protest over the imposition of candidates ahead of this year’s elections.
The youths petitioned the party over Bulawayo businessman and party member, Raji Modi, whom they claim was initially not a candidate, but his name was added to ballot papers during the polls with a pen.
They said some party members failed to vote due to bungling by polling officers and that candidates had access to ballot boxes and results before they were announced.
The youths said their demonstration will start at 10am at Davis Hall, the party’s provincial headquarters in Bulawayo.
Prince Phiri one of the Bulawayo South youths said: “We presented a copy to the police that we want to do a peaceful demonstration now they are blocking us, saying we should proceed with it after five days. At first, they agreed for us to hold the demonstration, now they are disagreeing and we will proceed.”
Modi won the polls to represent Bulawayo South against Bafana Dube, Douglas Gangaidzo and Jameson Msika.