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.’