Big surprises in Zanu PF primaries Zanu PF National Political Commissar Cde Mike Bimha

Herald Reporters

SOME ministers and veteran parliamentarians fell by the wayside in the Zanu PF primary elections that were held over the weekend as the ruling party entrenches democracy and reenergises its base ahead of this year harmonised elections.

While the Zanu PF Politburo is expected to confirm the election outcome, results from provincial and constituency command centres showed that several new entrants won against some seasoned politicians.

Masvingo and Midlands provinces held primary elections yesterday after they failed to do so on Saturday due to unforeseen technical challenges.

Zanu PF National Political Commissar Cde Mike Bimha told ZBC TV last night that results had started trickling in.

He said the party had received some complaints and an ad-hoc committee will meet today to consider the complaints.

“Results have now started trickling in. We should have all the results in the 10 provinces by tomorrow. We have also received complaints and we hope that the ad hoc committee will meet tomorrow to consider those complaints,” said Cde Bimha.

In Mashonaland East Province, results indicated that Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza fell to fellow Cabinet minister, Cde Felix Mhona as the two fought it out to get the right to represent the revolutionary party in Chikomba East National Assembly constituency.

Cde Mhona, who is Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister contested in Chikomba East after his constituency, Chikomba Central, which he represented was collapsed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission delimitation exercise.

There were also reports that Foreign Affairs and International Trade Deputy Minister David Musabayana had lost to lawyer Cde Itai Ndudzo in Wedza North.

In Manicaland, Chimanimani West constituency sitting MP and Manicaland Province Minister of State and Devolution Nokhutula Matsikinyere lost to newcomer Wilson Maposa.

In Mashonaland West Province, sitting Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna and Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Mary Mliswa (Hurungwe West) also lost in the elections.

In Goromonzi West, former legislator for the area, Cde Beata Nyamupinga bounced back after she won the right to represent the party which was initially held by Cde Energy Mutodi who has transferred to Masvingo Province.

In Buhera, Manicaland Province, all the constituencies were won by new entrants.

In Buhera West, Zanu PF Director of Information, Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi beat incumbent, Cde Soul Nzuma and four others while Cde Joseph Chinotimba fell to Ngonidzashe Mudekunye in Buhera South with Cde Samson Matema claiming the scalp of the sitting legislator, Cde Mathew Gijima Nyashanu in Buhera Central. Cde Philip Guyo won in Buhera North replacing Cde William Mutomba who is a Senate candidate.

In Mutasa North, sitting legislator and chairperson of the portfolio committee on Women Affairs, Cde Chido Madiwa lost to Cde Obey Bvute, while businessman and sports guru, Cde Innocent Benza won the right to represent the party in Mutasa Central constituency.

In Mashonaland Central Province, the sitting MP for Guruve North, Cde Girovha Dzepasi fell to Cde Tendai Pinduka who beat six other candidates while in Guruve South, the sitting legislator, Cde Patrick Dutiro faltered against Cde Christopher Magomo.

Vote counting continued in most areas while Midlands and Masvingo provinces counting was expected to start last night.

The situation was calm in most areas visited by The Herald yesterday.

In Harare, provincial youth chairperson Cde Emmanuel Mahachi, who is also Mbare National Assembly Constituency aspiring legislator, said the elections were organised and held in a peaceful manner.

“There were no cases of violence since our members were advising them that the President does not condone violence. We congratulate all the winning candidates while to losing candidates we say there is always next time.

“I encourage party members to remain calm and peaceful. In Zanu PF, there is no winner or loser, only that one will be going to represent the party in the general elections,” he said.

In Chitungwiza by the end of the day, voters and candidates were milling around the command centres waiting for the final compilation of results.

At Zengeza East Constituency command centre, Chitungwiza acting Mayor Kiven Mutimbanyoka was seen in a jovial mood with voters at the Publicity Centre.

In Epworth at Tembwe district, Hunyani preliminary results were already displayed at the command centre by midday.

In Mabvuku-Tafara voting ended on Saturday and it went on peacefully. Polling agents yesterday transported ballot papers and boxes to the national command centre in the city.

They were escorted by a team of police officers that had been deployed on the ground.

In Greendale, voting also ended on Saturday night.

In Beitbridge, Matabeleland South Province, the voting process ended well and by the end of the day yesterday, party officials were still consolidating figures.

Under Beitbridge East, Cde Albert Nguluvhe contested against Cde Steven Stubbs.

In Beitbridge West, incumbent Cde Ruth Maboyi stood against, Cdes Thusani Ndou and Alfred Makhomo Moyo.

Cde Tambudzani Mohadi and former Beitbridge mayor, Cde Showa Moyo contested for the senatorial seat.

In an interview, Cde Nguluvhe said:

“This is a practice within the party where democracy is being exercised.  People are allowed to choose their representative at whatever level.  There is no loser. The party comes first.  I therefore, call upon everyone to be united and start to campaign for our President and the party. Congratulations to everyone.”

In Masvingo, there was high voter turnout although polling was delayed in most areas around the province owing to delays in the arrival of voting material.

However, by 9am yesterday, voting had kicked off at most polling centres with long queues forming at most polling centres with members waiting to cast their ballots.

When The Herald visited some polling stations like Zvamahande in Masvingo West, Chirichoga, Masvingo Central and Shakashe in Masvingo North, there were long winding queues of voters waiting to cast their ballots with many commending the peaceful process.

Some however complained of missing their names in the voters’ register.

War veteran Cde Hilda Mavuto, told The Herald that the primary elections were not about individuals but the party, adding that Zanu PF should be the biggest winner.

“This race (primary election) is like a race (of horses) the best horse (winner) is our best foot forward and must be supported by everyone. I am here to vote just to remind the young people that this country came at a huge price,” said Cde Mavuto.

In Masvingo Central one of the aspiring parliamentary candidates Cde Addison Zvobgo (Junior) requested for voting to be extended by a day noting that some voters from Chatikobo in Ward 23 had failed to vote after failing to access a voting centre because of floods in Mutirikwi River.

“The dam (Lake Mutirikwi) is releasing water downstream because floodgates are open and some voters in Chatikobo could not go and vote,” said Cde Zvobgo.

Voting closed at most polling by 5 pm with queues having been cleared though there were some isolated polling stations such as Chirichoga in Masvingo Central where voting had to be extended to clear the queues occasioned by initial delays.

In the Midlands Province, voting had been extended beyond 4pm across the province amid a huge turnout at most polling stations.

Midlands provincial elections directorate head, Cde Simbarashe Mbengegwi said the province has been given the greenlight by the national directorate to extend the deadline. There were still long queues at most polling stations around Gweru well after 6 pm.

“I am patient, I will be waiting in the queue until I cast my vote,” said Mrs Linah Ngirandi who was in a queue at Pfende polling station yesterday evening.

In Mashonaland West province, the voting process which ended yesterday afternoon at all the polling stations was met with mixed feelings by contestants and the electorate.

While the whole process was meant at measuring the strength of the party and its democracy, the election system was described by some as flawless while others expressed reservations.

There were, however indications from preliminary results that some of the old guards had lost to the Young Turks.

In Mashonaland East Province, the primary elections were conducted smoothly as the electorate across the province chose their preferred candidates through the ballot box.

There was an overwhelming turnout of voters to such an extent that the voting exercise had to be extended to Sunday afternoon to accommodate every member to exercise their constitutional rights.

In the Marondera Central constituency, seasoned politician and educationist Cde Cleopas Kundiona who was battling with his long-time contestant Cde Lawrance Katsiru and prominent businessman Dunmore Mutyambizi, won the elections.

Cde Kundiona won with 2 311 votes while Cde Mutyambizi went away with 1 553 votes with Cde Katsiru managing only 468 votes.

In Goromonzi North, Cde Ozias Bvute won with 3 225 votes against Cde Kudzai Majuru who bagged 1034 votes.

In Bulawayo and Matabeleland North, the voting exercise continued yesterday and the two Matabeleland provinces without incidents.

In Bulawayo, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Raj Modi sailed through uncontested and will represent Zanu PF in the harmonised elections.

Prof Ncube is eyeing the National Assembly seat for Cowdray Park while Cde Modi will battle it out with opposition parties for the Bulawayo South seat.

By last night, Zanu PF Politburo member in charge of the primary elections in Bulawayo, Cde Elphas Mashava, and the party’s provincial leadership, were locked in a meeting at Davis Hall to wrap up the meticulous verification process.

The Chronicle news crew observed that at two polling stations located at the Bulawayo Polytechnic and Nketa 7 Library, voters underwent meticulous verification before casting their votes and by 1pm, the process had ended.

In Matabeleland North, the voting spilled into yesterday in Lupane West constituency while the rest closed Saturday night. There are 13 constituencies in the province with seven districts.

Cde Headman Moyo who is in charge of elections in the province said they were waiting for all districts to submit results and deliver ballot boxes to the provincial command centre.

He said the elections had gone on well without any incidents of violence.

“People have voted peacefully and we did not witness any unfortunate incident. We had given a deadline of 1pm today (yesterday) for all centres to close and for now we are waiting for results from districts such as Binga,” he said.

Senior party members including the party’s provincial chair Cde Richard Moyo, Nkayi North legislator Dr Sithembiso Nyoni and her Nkayi South counterpart Cde Stars Mathe won the primaries.

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