From George Maponga in Masvingo—
ZANU-PF has vowed to retain Bikita West by winning the by-election slated for January 21 next year. The ruling party has lined up a series of rallies to be addressed by Politburo members in the coming weeks.Zanu-PF upped its campaign tempo in Bikita West after its candidate for the by-election election, Cde Beauty Chabaya, successfully filed her papers at the nomination court last Friday.
Other candidates are Mr Kudakwashe Gopo of the Zimbabwe People First led by Dr Joice Mujuru, together with Mr Madock Chivasa of the National Constitutional Assembly.
Also eyeing the seat are Mr Terence Makumbo of Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ), an Independent candidate Mr Innocent Muzvimbiri and former Bikita West legislator Mr Heya Shoko, who is also standing as an independent. The seat fell vacant after Munyaradzi Kereke was jailed for rape.
The Zanu-PF provincial leadership in Masvingo had been holding low-key campaign rallies addressed by provincial executive members.
Acting Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Amasa Nhenjana yesterday said all Politburo members in the province led by national secretary for production and labour Cde Josaya Hungwe will soon address rallies in Bikita West.
Cde Nhenjana said the ruling party was not leaving anything to chance.
“We have been busy on the ground campaigning in Bikita West, but we are increasing the stakes now that there are five other candidates who are contesting the Bikita West seat,’’ he said.
“All along, the campaigning was being done by our provincial executive members, but we are going a gear up by roping in all the Central Committee and Politburo members in the province, who we have since lined up to address rallies.
“It will be up to our Politburo members to invite other national party leaders to come and help in the campaigning,’’ added Cde Nhenjana.
Cde Nhenjana also castigated political violence saying, “We are not a violent party and we will never employ violence to win elections.
“In-fact, let it be known that Zanu-PF will easily retain the Bikita West seat because the majority of people in Bikita are Zanu-PF.
“We are the only party that has consistently won elections because our policies resonate with the wishes of the people.’’