MUTARE- Zanu PF Central Committee member Isau Mupfumi secured, in controversial circumstances, the berth to stand as a candidate in the Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency for by-elections to be held on 26 March, 263Chat has learnt.
Mupfumi is accused by rival camps of burning the midnight candle, as he allegedly canvased for votes on the election eve, in last ditch efforts to lure their structures.
Observations made during the campaign period in the internal votes, showed some party members distributing foodstuff (rice, cooking oils, washing soap) and cash to members of the party localized structure.
Mupfumi polled 2518 votes to defeat the youthful socialite Clyde Jani, 1303 votes, a huge margin amid allegations of vote buying, manipulation of the electoral college and outright rigging in the primary elections of the revolutionary party.
Party insiders are, however, adamant that Mupfumi’s victory was not clean, as he allegedly manipulated the voters’ roll by using the 2018 version of the party structures, as new cell members’ names were not present.
In Dangamvura, Ward 9 where 263Chat observed members of Mupfumi’s faction distributing cash and food, youthful members of the party were surprised to find their names missing in the voters’ roll.
“I was recently added in the structures of the cell after the DCC elections but I failed to vote because my name was not found in the list. What is also surprising is that some members of the structures from 2018 where there.
“We suspect that there was tempering of voting materials,” said the party member.
At another polling station PaMuonde in Ward 18, Dangamvura alert polling agents allegedly caught a party member with several blank ballot papers suspected to have been part of the ploy to swing the vote.
Efforts to get a comment from Mupfumi were fruitless. However, the provincial party leadership endorsed the elections over the weekend, with the national commissariat also confirming the results of the primary elections held across the country.
Jani, the losing candidate in the Zanu PF primary elections allegedly assaulted Malcom Masarira, ward 14 chairperson in the elections aftermath.
Jani reportedly assaulted on Sunday morning accusing him of being behind his defeat. The matter was reported at Mutare Central Police Station under RRB number 4958593.
In Mutasa South constituency, Misheck Mugadza, won the berth to battle for the seat previously held by Regai Tsunga who was recalled from the National Assembly by the Mwonzora led faction.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently slated the upcoming by-elections, largely seen as a dress rehearsal for the 2023 plebiscite for 26 March, harmonized elections.
Meanwhile the MDC main faction is yet to confirm over the weekend dispanced National Council members to confirm candidates for the upcoming by-elections.
Provincial spokesperson David Panganai, said vice president Tendai Biti led the exercise Manicaland for both council and MPs, with al recalled candidates confirmed to stand for elections and finish off their terms.
“We held confirmation exercises across the country for the recalled representative because as a party we did not recall the members who had been given a mandate to lead,” said Panganai.
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