Zimbabwe’s current ruling party Zanu-PF, says a number of rallies will be held in Masvingo to campaign ahead of the Bikita West by-election to be held 21 January 2017. The rallies will apparently be addressed by the party’s politburo members.
Zanu-PF is being represented at the election by Beauty Chabaya, who reportedly filed her nomination papers last week Friday.
Other candidates contesting the Bikita West seat are:
- Kudakwashe Gopo – Zimbabwe People First
- Madock Chivasa – National Constitutional Assembly
- Terence Makumbo – Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ)
- Innocent Muzvimbiri – Independent candidate
- Heya Shoko – Independent Candidate (former Bikita West legislator)
The Bikita West seat became vacant following the conviction and jailing of Zanu-PF senoir member Munyaradzi Kereke on rape charges.
Zanu-PF senoir members expected to address rallies ahead of the by-election include Josaya Hungwe.
So far campaigning in the constituency was being done by provincial executive members.
Zanu-PF has in the recent past lost a by-election to an independent candidate. The Norton constituency was won by Temba Mliswa in October this year. Mliswa has himself said that his team will be in Bikita West, helping campaign for Kudakwashe Gopo.
Zanu-PF however managed to win the Chimanimani West by-election held on 26 November where Nokuthula Matsikenyere became the new legislator for the constituency. Chimanimani West was however marred by allegations of voter intimidation and vote buying.
Acting Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Amasa Nhenjana has said that they are determined to win the elections due to strategy to have rallies held by Politburo members in the province. He also said that the party does not condone violence and would not employ it to win the election.
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.’
Zanu-PF has won the Chimanimani West by-elections. The votes have been counted and announced this morning.
- Zanu-PF : 11,074
- Independent : 3,018
- Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe: 183
- National Constitutional Assembly: 171
- Spoiled: 159
This effectively makes Nokuthula Matsikenyere the new legislator for Chimanimani West, replacing former Zanu PF legislator Munacho Mutezo who was expelled from Zanu-PF for being Zimbabwe People First member while still a Zanu PF MP. Mutezo was initially suspended and then eventually expelled in August this year.
Zanu-PF was been accused of vote buying and voter intimidation in the run-up to the by-election.
More: Povo Zimbabwe on Facebook.
Independent candidate Edmore Mtetwa has claimed that the ruling party is using dirty tricks to win the seat ahead of the by-election slated for November 26.
In an interview with NewsDay Mtetwa said Zanu PF was using food aid to buy votes in the area. Last Friday, Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri toured the constituency where they dished out food items to villagers.
Zanu PF candidate, Matsikenyere, however, dismissed the allegations saying that there was no vote-buying and that she distributed her own rice. She said that she did not know how the issue of maize was handled since it was for the vulnerable.
More: Pindula News
Speaking to journalists at the Bulawayo Press club on Saturday, Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD) leader and Member of Parliament for Norton, Temba Mliswa, said he and his team will soon descend on Bikita West to campaign for the former Zimbabwe People First chairperson for Masvingo province,Kudakwashe Gopo in the forthcoming Bikita West by election.
Mliswa, however, ruled out campaigning for Chimanimani West independent candidate, Edmore Mutetwa, arguing that he was not familiar with the political terrain in the constituency
Gopo reportedly decided to contest as an independent candidate after Zimbabwe People First maintained its stance on by elections boycott.
More: Pindula News
Zanu PF’s candidate for the forthcoming Chimanimani West by election, Nokuthula Matsikenyere, donated 3 000 cabbages to lure voters ahead of the election. The Chimanimani West seat fell vacant after Munacho Mutezo who was expelled from Zanu PF.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, Matsikenyere said,
Gone are the days where the ruling party could take voters for granted and make pledges and false promises. Let’s ask what the electorate want and offer those things instead of promising them a bridge where there is no river. I have done my homework and as I speak I am donating 3,000 cabbages to primary schools, supplementing the government school feeding programme.
Other candidates contesting the elections include Peter Gudyanga of Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Pesanani Musakanuka of the NCA and Edmore Mutetwa, an independent. The Chimanimani by election is set for November 26.
News coming in through Twitter suggests that Temba Mliswa has won the Norton By-Election by over 1,000 votes against Zanu PF’s Ronald Chindeza.
The Norton parliamentary seat fell vacant after Zanu PF expelled Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) leader Christopher Mutsvangwa in July 2016 for allegedly fuelling factionalism and disrespecting the First Family.
His win is said to be attributed to the assistance of opposition parties and veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, allowing the independent candidate to win a bruising fight that has raised political temperatures.
Infighting had been said to have broken out in the ruling party after Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere imposed the party’s candidate, a virtually unknown Ronald Chindedza and was also eager to send a strong statement that firing Mutsvangwa was a necessary evil.
The results were as follows:
- Mliswa 8,927
- Chindedza 6,192
- Choga 89
Source: Pindula News