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Zanu-PF tracks chaos mongers

by Staff reporter
08 Dec 2020 at 06:58hrs | Views
ZANU-PF will descend heavily on party members found to have had a hand in the chaotic scenes which marred its weekend district co-ordinating committee (DCC) elections.

The former liberation movement party also said yesterday that it would order re-runs in some districts where it would be proven that there had been irregularities, including rigging and ballot fraud - as alleged by some irate members. As a result, the ruling party shelved the announcement of the DCC results yesterday, to allow for thorough verifications in light of the deluge of complaints by disaffected members.

This comes after the DCC elections were sullied by allegations of cheating and rigging, with heavy rains also affecting polling in some districts - while logistical challenges also led to the late delivery of ballot papers. Addressing the media in Harare yesterday, Zanu-PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri warned that disciplinary action would be taken against candidates and members implicated in violations of the party's electoral guidelines.

"We are, however, fully aware that there are areas where some individuals may have chosen to act contrary to the rules and guidelines that were given. "In such cases, thorough investigations will be conducted and should there be clear and irrefutable evidence of manipulation of systems or rules, it must be made very clear that the national command centre may recommend re-runs to make sure that the will and wishes of the party members are respected," she said.

"Any malcontents who have orchestrated such indiscipline and brought the name of the party into disrepute will be held accountable. We shall want clear and explicit adherence to the rules as far as possible.

"As chairman, I must hasten to say that we are a democratic party and we expect all our members at all levels to abandon behaviour that is contrary to our democratic principles and our desire to build a strong internal democratic culture that is underpinned by high levels of discipline," Muchinguri-Kashiri said further.

She also admitted that there had been glaring poll irregularities in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West.

"In Manicaland province, we note that some challenges were reported in Nyanga, Mutare Urban, Makoni, Chipinge and Chimanimani. "The same applies to Mashonaland East in Goromonzi, Mudzi and Marondera districts and Mashonaland West in Kadoma District. However, remedial action has since been taken to deal with these issues.

"The national command centre will officially announce the results as soon as they are validated … We will update our constituencies on the final results as soon as the process concludes," Muchinguri-Kashiri added.

Last week, the former liberation movement also warned that it would not hesitate to expel anyone found guilty of indiscipline.

"I want to warn any of our members … that we are watching any acts of indiscipline that bring the party into disrepute.

"Acts of indiscipline will be reported to our national disciplinary committee which will descend with a sledge hammer on anyone who is convicted of perpetrating any acts of violence which disrupt the electoral process.
"As who shall be eligible to vote in these elections, we are going to be using our party register of party districts as it was in 2017 and obviously updated.

"Results will be displayed outside every polling station as the party continues to entrench and expand its internal democracy and participatory democracy.

"I am saying this to allay any fear of rigging," Zanu-PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said ahead of the weekend's internal party polls. This comes as the mayhem in Zaka, Masvingo province, has since seen contestants demanding that the party deals expeditiously with allegations of serious electoral malpractices.

In a joint petition to the former liberation movement's national election command, candidates vying for various positions in the district claimed that the elections there had been rigged.

The contestants include Paradzai Chakona (vice chairperson), Brighton Mahoya (vice chairperson), Lysias Kunaka (secretary for gender and culture), Cornelius Ndanga (secretary for economic affairs), Adiel Chiwombo (political commissar), Felix Kufandada (secretary for youths affairs), Aleta Makomeke (secretary for the women's
league), Dick Natala (secretary for security) and Matumba Mudzamirwa (secretary for science and technology).
"This petition brings on record some discrepancies and flaws in the conduct of elections. It is our fervent belief that we have fallen victim to factionalism and individualism in Masvingo Province.

"Soon after dispatching polling officers to various centres, it was observed that the voters' rolls for party districts, 8A, 14B and 19A were missing from the file that came from Masvingo.

"Immediately after this announcement, we were advised that the voters' roll for 19C had also been misplaced or mistakenly taken by a driver or polling officer who had gone to party district 18A. Therefore, voting could not commence at the centre.

"Some people who recently joined the party, well after 2017, found themselves voting on some fraudulently annexed structure to the 2017 structures.

"Although voters' rolls for 19A and C were retrieved from an unknown/ undisclosed source, those for 8A and 14B remained outstanding," read the petition that was also copied to the provincial executive.

The contestants also claimed that some of their observers were denied access to the command centre, as well as to counting and accounting processes.

    In addition, the candidates also raised vote buying allegations, accusing some of the contestants of splashing around cash during voting. On Saturday, massive chaos also ensued in Zvishavane and Murowa in the Midlands, where former deputy Mines minister Fred Moyo, who was vying for the Zvishavane DCC treasurer's post, found his name missing from the ballot.

This led to protests in the area, with some party members refusing to take part in the polls, insisting that Moyo should be allowed to contest.

The toyi-toying supporters condemned the party for axing Moyo from the contest and acting unfairly. His name was later reinstated. The missing of contestants' names from ballot papers was a common feature across the country. In many cases, new ballot papers had to be printed on Saturday night and elections moved to Sunday.

The chaos was also palpable in Mashonaland Central and East provinces on Saturday, where party supporters were similarly left frustrated after being made to wait for more than eight hours, following delays in delivering ballot papers.

The DCC structures elect Zanu-PF's 10 provincial executives -where the party and President Emmerson Mnangagwa draw members of the central committee and the politburo from.

The party's DCCs were disbanded in 2012 after they were deemed to be fanning factionalism during Mnangagwa and former vice president Joice Mujuru's battles to succeed the late former president Robert Mugabe.

The run-up to the polls was also marred by allegations of bribery, factionalism and tribalism - with party wars coming to a head in October when violent youths disrupted the former liberation movement's primary elections for the upcoming Kwekwe Central Parliamentary by-election.

Source - dailynews