BY KENNETH NYANGANI
TENSION has once again gripped the Zanu PF Mutare district after the ruling party politburo ordered the rerun of the district co-ordinating committee chairmanship elections after chaos rocked the first round of the party electoral contest.
The first round was marred by allegations of massive rigging with some ballot papers found in bins while others were burnt, amid an outcry by some voters that there were party members that were paid to vote more than once.
Four candidates are vying for the hot seat in Mutare, and these are Binali Yard, Clever Muparutsa, Cecilia Gambe and war veteran Ivan Mbengo.
Preliminary results showed that Muparutsa had won the election but it was later revealed that Yard had won the election, which caused confusion and prompted demonstrations at the Manicaland provincial headquarters office.
The election exposed factionalism in the party with Zanu PF Manicaland provincial party chairman Mike Madiro reportedly backing Muparutsa. On the other hand, Yard is allegedly being backed by Zanu PF national chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri.
Both Madiro and Muchinguri are fighting for the control of the province.
Yard yesterday refused to comment, and directed questions to party’s acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa.
Yard’s supporters yesterday said they were sure their preferred candidate would win the election.
“We need fairness in this election, if there is fairness, we are going to win, it was clear that our candidate Yard was rigged from winning (sic),” said a supporter who refused to be named.
“We are saying let’s go for a rerun, the best candidate is going to win the election. As supporters of Yard, we are following what President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been saying that let the voice of the people be the voice of God, and we have been on the ground and we are campaigning.”
Muparutsa’s supporters said they have accepted the rerun directive by the politburo, adding that it was a hard pill to swallow.
“We did not want the rerun because we believed we had won the election, but there is nothing we can do because the politburo passed a resolution that there should be a rerun,” another supporter said.
Muparutsa was not immediately available for comment.
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