Zanu-PF goes for broke in Chimanimani
Cletus Mushanawani in Mutare
ZANU-PF is not leaving anything to chance as it has intensified its presence on the ground ahead of Saturday’s Chimanimani West by-election. Zanu-PF candidate Cde Nokuthula Matsikenyere will battle it out with Mr Peter Gudyanga (Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe), Mr Edmore Mtetwa (Independent) and Mr Pesanai Musakaruka (National Constitutional Assembly).
A number of campaign rallies have been organised for the constituency from today up to tomorrow where Politburo, Central Committee members and Manicaland provincial executive committee members will be addressing.
In an interview, Cde Matsikenyere’s campaign manager as well as Zanu-PF deputy provincial secretary for administration Cde Thasen Dube said: “We are not leaving anything to chance. Lessons were learnt from the Norton debacle and we want to ensure a resounding victory for Zanu-PF in Chimanimani West.
“This has been our seat, which was left vacant by Munacho Mutezo and we want to send a clear message to the outside world that Zanu-PF is still a force to reckon with by coming up with a resounding victory. From what we are seeing on the ground, victory is certain.
“We want to thank the political leadership from national to provincial level for the tremendous support they are giving our candidate here. This has been a very big morale booster.”
Cde Dube said a number of rallies have been lined up across the province from today where senior party members – Cdes Christopher Mushohwe (Mhandarume area), Kudzi Chipanga (Nhedziwa), Joseph Chinotimba (Changadzi), Nyasha Chikwinya (Saurombe), Isau Mupfumi (Chikwakwa) and Misheck Mugadza (Hot Springs) – will address.
“Our national commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, and another Politburo member, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, were here and they preached the gospel of unity and that has been our guiding principle during all our campaigns. There is no room for factionalism in Chimanimani West and this unity of purpose prevailing in this constituency should continue in all future elections. We are united by Zanu-PF ideologies and we will not let our detractors take advantage of petty fights in the party to score undeserved victories,” said Cde Dube.
On Sunday, Cdes Chinotimba and Mandi Chimene addressed rallies in the area where 10 computers were donated to Tonhorai Primary School.
A borehole was also rehabilitated in the area and villagers are now walking shorter distances to access water, which is now a scarce commodity in the drought- prone area.
Mr Dube said nine more boreholes were being rehabilitated.
“Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri was here earlier on and she facilitated the availing of piped water in residential areas of Nyanyadzi, something people in the area had lost hope of achieving in the past years. Empty promises from some of the people who used to represent the area have been the order of the day,” he said.
Cde Dube urged the electorate to shun independent candidates like Mr Mtetwa who is reportedly being clandestinely backed by MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First.
“We want to urge the electorate to vote for tried and tested parties. Some of these people like independent candidates will disappear soon after the election, leaving you stranded. We want people who have the constituency at heart to be elected into office.
“After all, we also know that independent candidates have no influence at all in terms of policy making and party back-up. They are people driven by selfish personal interests,” he said.
In an earlier interview, Zanu-PF provincial secretary for administration Cde Kenneth Saruchera said it was the people of Chimanimani who approached the party complaining about Engineer Munacho Mutezo’s conduct and the party listened to them leading to his dismissal.
“It is against this background that the people of Chimanimani cannot now desert the party that is resolving the leadership problems in the area. After all, the Zanu-PF candidate Cde Matsikenyere was elected through a democratic primary election process hence, the people of Chimanimani are quite aware of what they want,” he said.
Cde Saruchera also bemoaned cases of vote buying that are reportedly rife ahead of the by-election.
“We are hearing cases of vote buying in the area and that is deplorable. People are being given $50 each to vote for a certain candidate. We think the people of Zimbabwe are now politically mature that they now understand that the source of that money will dry up as soon as someone is voted into office.