George Maponga and Sydney Mubaiwa
Nine candidates aspiring to represent Zanu PF will today slug it out in the race to become the ruling party’s parliamentary candidate ahead of a forthcoming by-election in Chivi South constituency.
The by-election will be held to fill a seat that fell vacant following the sacking from Zanu PF of former legislator, Mr Killer Zivhu. Mr Zivhu automatically forfeited his position as a Zanu PF parliamentarian following his expulsion from the party for abusing social media and engaging in treacherous behaviour.
Among those seeking to replace Mr Zivhu are Cde Mafios Vutete, the former MP for the constituency, and Cdes Munyaradzi Zizhou, Rikios Hlambelo, Dennis Masomere, Peter Matuka, Enock Shindi, Naledi Maunganidze, Samson Mutsamba and Abson Madususe.
Today’s primary election will be a litmus test in the wake of measures introduced by Government to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Zanu PF national Political Commissar, Cde Victor Matemadanda, yesterday said the party was geared for the primaries.
He said sufficient measures were in place to ensure voting was done in compliance with Covid-19 regulations.
“We have sent Covid-19 protective materials such as masks to cater for those who might not have them and we also have delivered sanitisers and our people will be practicing social distancing while waiting to vote with spacing of between one and two metres apart,” he said.
“We have also made sure that only the recommended 100 people will be at our various party district voting centres to cast their ballots and should leave the venue soon after voting to make sure we comply with Covid-19 regulations.”
Cde Matemadanda said the ruling party decided to elect its parliamentary candidate for Chivi South to afford the person an opportunity to prepare the ground ahead of the by-election.
He said it did not matter that the by-election would be held this year or next year, they elected to have the Chivi South candidate to end the covert campaigning that was being done by several aspiring candidates.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial political commissar, Cde Jevas Masosota, said 36 voting centres will be opened today to avoid big gatherings.
“Everything is in place and we are raring to go,” said Cde Masosota.
“We also want to start conducting voting early so that we finish on time before announcing the winner.”
The nomination court for the Chivi South parliamentary by-election is expected to sit on October 9. Chivi is a Zanu PF stronghold and the ruling party is expected to retain the seat after the country’s heavily fractured opposition got one seat (Masvingo Urban) in the 2018 harmonised election.