A protest vote is looming in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s backyard in Midlands where Zanu PF grassroots are rejecting recently elected party candidates in more than 10 constituencies.
Insiders said a bhora musango/ibhola egangeni was looming in constituencies where Mnangagwa’s allies allegedly hijacked internal processes to deploy their associates to represent the ruling party in the upcoming elections.
Bhora musango was popularised during the 2008 elections where Zanu PF supporters voted for the ruling party candidates for parliamentary seats while rejecting the late president Robert Mugabe for factional reasons.
Mugabe was almost booted out of power after subsequently losing to the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the election.
He only survived through a violent campaign ahead of a presidential run-off where he ran unchallenged after Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence against his supporters.
In the latest Zanu PF internal wars, insiders said the protests in the Midlands were against Mnangagwa's allies.
According to insiders, there is simmering discontent in the party in the way the primaries were handled where Mnangagwa’s allies held sway on who was to be elected or not.
Sources said Local Government minister July Moyo, former State Security minister Owen Ncube, politburo member Mackenzie Ncube and Tsitsi Muzenda ran rings around the Forever Associate Zimbabwe (FAZ) and Heritage Trust, who were running the elections.
- Corruption Watch: Get scared, 2023 is coming
- Corruption Watch: Get scared, 2023 is coming
- Letters: Ensuring Africa’s food security through availability of quality seeds
- Is military's involvement in politics compatible with democracy?
The FAZ is controlled by the Central Intelligence Organisation while the Heritage Trust is linked to the army.
FAZ, led by CIO deputy director general Walter Tapfumaneyi had the major say in the elections, according to a Zanu PF internal document titled Talking Points dated March 27.
However, The Standard established that Mnangagwa’s allies in Midlands hijacked the election process from FAZ and Heritage.
It was established that party supporters are not happy with the party’s candidates in Zvishavane, Chirumanzi-Zibagwe, Mkoba South, Mkoba Urban, Vungu, Redcliff-Silobela, Kwekwe Central, Mbizo, Gokwe North , Gokwe-Kana and Gokwe-Chireya.
It is also the same situation in Gokwe South, Shurugwi North, Shurugwi South, Mberengwa and Gokwe Sesame.
“In Zvishavane-Runde, more than 10 districts did not vote because ward 7 councillor Mecky Jaravaza, who is also the district coordinating chairperson (DCC), elbowed out Dumezweni Mawite and declared himself the winner,” an insider said.
“Larry Mavima was also elbowed out by the same DCC.
“In Mberengwa, MPs Marko Raidza and Makhosini Hlongwane were also pushed out because they were not on the July Moyo/Mudha list.
“In Chirumanzi district, Barbara Rwodzi ran the show and videos are there where she was forcing people to vote for her.”
The source added: “In Shurugwi North, the sitting MP Ronald Nyathi was pushed out while in Gweru district where Zanu PF had one seat, the sitting MP for Vungu constituency, Omega Sibanda, was pushed out after ballot papers were forcibly taken away from a constituency consultant (FAZ member) by a sitting MP from Kwekwe.”
“Brown Ndlovu, who has been a perennial loser in Chiwundura, is now the Vungu constituency candidate.
“In Kwekwe, Manoki Mpofu was pushed out of Silobela constituency for Jona Nyebvera while Energy Dhala Ncube, a nephew of the former State Security minister Owen Ncube was unchallenged in Kwekwe Central.”
This publication heard that Mnangagwa’s allies who ran the show were uncontested in their constituencies.
“In Gokwe South, they imposed Tawanda Karikoga despite the fact that he stays in South Africa while Paul Mavima was uncontested despite scandals,” a source said.
“In Gokwe North, Mayor Wadyajena was pushed aside because he was not part of their team.
Last week, the party deployed party secretary for security Lovemore Matuke to extinguish the flames in the Midlands, but the meetings were poorly attended.
“Until the president comes down to explain what happened, and hear our concerns and complaints, Zanu PF may end up losing a lot of seats in Midlands as things stand,” an insider said.
“Samuel Mumbengegwi is in charge of Midlands, but he has failed to put a firm hand and take control of the province.
“Everything is happening in his eyes. . . Mumbengegwi was once warned by the President that he must pull his socks up.
“We appeal to the President to send an investigative team to probe the goings on because the party is going to lose many seats.
“Those who were announced as winners are even failing to mobilise the number of people that allegedly voted for them in the primaries.”
Another source said Mnangagwa’s allies, after sensing resistance, have started turning to artisanal miners to lead violent election campaigns.
On Sunday last week, some youth members and gold panners under the hashtag #Talibans were treated to alcohol at Mbizo Secondary School to solicit their support for campaigns.
Mnangagwa has said he will announce election dates before the end of the month.
Mnangagwa has hinted that elections will be held in August where he will seek re-election for a second term.
Insiders, however, said Mnangagwa faces a tall order owing to simmering divisions in the party.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi last week exposed the discontent in Zanu PF when he warned the ruling party members against revolting once they were elected into office.