Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF has lined up a number of rallies in Bikita West ahead of the by-elections set for January 21.
Party leaders from the country’s 10 provinces are expected to descend on Bikita West beginning tomorrow to garner support for the Zanu-PF candidate, Cde Beauty Chabaya.
Acting President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko will then address a star rally on Wednesday next week that comes after another successful star rally addressed by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week.
VP Mnangagwa, who was the Acting President during that time, unveiled Cde Chabaya as the party candidate before thousands of Zanu-PF supporters.
Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who accompanied VP Mnangagwa to the constituency, said the revolutionary party was going for broke to ensure it won the polls.
“The opposition stand no chance against the Zanu-PF machinery and we are on the ground,” said Cde Kasukuwere. “The party has lined up several rallies beginning this Thursday and will be addressed by MPs and party leaders from all our provinces.
“This is meant to support our party structures in Masvingo who are already on top of the situation. We will hold meetings at each and every polling station with party supporters and ascertain that they are registered.
“Acting President Mphoko will hold a final star rally on Wednesday next week in the constituency.
“The party youth and women leagues will be descending on Bikita and will be joined by war veterans. We will leave no stone unturned.”
The by-election is the first poll that Zimbabwe People First fronted by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru will be contesting since formation of the party recently.
ZimPF is now courting leaders of other opposition parties, principally MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, to address a joint rally with Dr Mujuru to garner support for her party candidate, Mr Kudakwashe Gopo.
But there are indications that the MDC-T was divided over whether or not to join Dr Mujuru at the rally.
Some MDC-T officials want Dr Mujuru to lose to cripple her bargaining power in the mooted coalition.
Cde Kasukuwere said Zanu-PF was not losing sleep over ZimPF and its “strange bedfellows MDC-T”.
“ZimPF is not a political party,” he said. “It is a grouping of angry, expired politicians who are no longer relevant. They are also expecting a hand from an equally failed MDC. It’s two weak teams trying to join each other and hope to make a difference.
“Above all, they are strange bedfellows trying an impossible marriage. They cannot work together and will never succeed.”
Also eyeing the constituency are MDC-T proxy independent candidate Mr Heya Shoko, who once won the constituency on the party ticket in 2008, National Constitutional Assembly representative, Mr Madock Chivasa, Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe’s Mr Terrence Makumbo and another independent candidate, Mr Innocent Muzvimbiri.
The seat fell vacant after the incarceration of Dr Munyaradzi Kereke last year for rape.