ED, Chamisa face nominations chaos

HARARE - As the nomination court sits today, the chances are high that both President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF and Nelso-n Chamisa’s MDC Alliance will end up with multiple candidates contesting the same constituencies in next month’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.

The impending chaos is a result of both major parties having failed to arrest internal squabbles during their respective, divisive and hotly-contested primary polls.

So bad were the ructions in Zanu PF, that party bigwigs stand accused of having allegedly removed some winning candidates on the final party lists, and replacing them with their preferred candidates

Mashonaland Central, for example, war veterans are up in arms against party leaders — who they accuse of engaging in corruption and favouritism during the internal polls.

The district chairperson for the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) in Mazowe, Pfanos Mudzimunyi, told the Daily News yesterday that the province was forced to reverse some names that regional party leaders had forwarded for confirmation to head office.

This was after they had allegedly removed the name of the winning candidate for Mbire constituency, Babra Chiponda, and replaced her with Theresa Newone.

In addition, they had also reportedly removed Elizabeth Chishaka from the provincial council list, and replaced her with politburo member Munyaradzi Machacha’s wife Dorothy.

This led to the whole process being reversed yesterday, after a protest by the former freedom fighters.

“As war veterans, we were not happy with all this. Although they managed to reverse this, there is still spirited resistance from some sections and we are saying to them let us respect the party’s constitution,” Mudzimunyi said.

“Indeed, it seems as if we are back to the old dispensation, as if they want to bring G40 members back, and we are not happy.

“As war veterans, we are not going to accept that. We support our president who wants to see the Constitution of the party respected.

“They also want to spoil the name of our political commissar Engelbert Rugeje. He doesn’t know all these things. They are creating a rift between us war veterans and Rugeje,” he added.

Contacted by the Daily News for comment, Machacha referred all questions to Zanu PF provincial chairperson Kazembe Kazembe.

Kazembe said, “The allegations are false. There was simply a communication breakdown between headquarters and our office, and this issue was resolved yesterday ...
There is no one who has the power to remove winning candidates unless the candidates do not meet Zec requirements”.

Similarly, the Zanu PF Matabeleland South leadership on Tuesday drafted its own final list of candidates, after it unanimously rejected a document from the national commissariat which indicated irregularities.

In the process, the regional leadership removed vice president Kembo Mohadi’s ex-wife Tambudzani Mohadi from being Beitbridge’s senatorial candidate, and replaced her with Rabelani Choene.

In Mashonaland West, regional vice chairperson Dexter Nduna warned party candidates saying there were some among them who wanted to avoid the nomination process, to sabotage the party.

“We know that there are some candidates who are planning to abscond the nomination court to allow the opposition to take seats. We are not going to allow that,” he said.

Contacted for comment Zanu PF national spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo said, “We go by the names which were approved by the politburo. The secretary for administration issued a statement yesterday (Tuesday) on this issue ... we follow what the politburo approves not the other way round”.

But confusion is also reining supreme within the ranks of the country’s main opposition party, the MDC — with many candidates still embroiled in serious internal fights.

After a gruesome battle for Kuwadzana East constituency between the youth assembly’s Shakespear Mukoyi and Charlton Hwende, the party controversially disqualified Mukoyi and settled for Hwende — a close Chamisa ally.

Also in Chikanga-Dangamvura, former Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami was controversially declared the winner, after a tight contest with women assembly chairperson Lynnette Karenyi-Kore.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, there will be 10 national Nomination Courts for the national assembly candidates, one in every province.

Zec also says a presidential candidate has to pay $1 000 to register with the Nomination Court. For those seeking to be parliamentarians, they have to pay $50, and those that want to be senators have to pay $10, while those aspiring to be councillors are not asked to pay anything.

All presidential candidates should produce proof that they are Zimbabwean citizens and are above the age of 40.

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