Zanu PF candidate courts residents ire

0
627
voters roll

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
RESIDENTS of Chitungwiza’s ward 7, Zengeza West, allege that the Zanu PF candidate for May 7 by-elections, Charamba Mlambo, is intimidating the electorate by marking people on the voters roll during door-to-door campaigns.

Mlambo, a former councillor in the area, is contesting against MDC Alliance candidate Bothwell Patsika and former Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The seat fell vacant after Maiko was recalled from Parliament on March 2 by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T.

“Mlambo moved around on Saturday with his campaign team with a voters roll marking people’s names. Where did he get the voters’ roll from and why is he using it that way?” asked one resident who declined to be named.

Mlambo, however, told NewsDay that there was nothing amiss.

“What is the allegation there? Every candidate was given a voters roll by Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission]? The purpose was for us to know the people to target during our campaigns. It was also a way to do away with rigging allegations,” he said.

“Some people are good at mobilising people who don’t vote and expect those numbers to translate into votes. So my rivals have the right to do the same. Some are too lazy to go through the voters roll because it has about 3 400 people. It requires patience. We are doing this in broad daylight and I wasn’t given the voters roll
secretly.”

But Maiko disagreed, saying the way the voters roll was being used by his rival was uncalled for.

“All the candidates have the voters roll. However, how others use it is against the spirit and letter of a free and fair election. We have taken steps to fumigate our ward against such electoral malpractice,” he said.

“I have heard from the grapevine that he is dishing out groceries. This has always been Zanu-PF’s gimmick in every election.”

Zec did not respond to NewsDay queries on the matter.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe