Zanu-PF polls to elect the Masvingo provincial chairperson scheduled for today have been thrown into disarray following the withdrawal of Retired Colonel Mutero Masanganise. Rtd Col Masanganise, who cited a litany of alleged irregularities in his withdrawal letter was scheduled to battle it out against former provincial chairperson Cde Ezra Chadzamira. But co-supervisor of the polls and ruling party Politburo member Cde Cain Mathema said yesterday that the elections would go ahead as scheduled today with Rtd Col Masanganise’s name on the ballot.
Rtd Col Masanganise announced his withdrawal through a letter addressed to the party’s secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo dated May 2, 2017.
He made several allegations against the party’s top leadership, including the recipient of the letter, Cde Chombo.
Rtd Col Masanganise said he was informed by Zanu-PF Politburo members Cde Shuvai Mahofa and Josaya Hungwe that they had entered into a private arrangement with Cde Chombo to re-appoint Cde Jorum Gumbo (secretary for Education) as interim chair for Masvingo province.
Part of his letter reads: “I would like to accordingly inform your esteemed office and also give notice that unless my name is publicly dissociated with these purported elections by May 4, 2017, I shall have no choice, but to seek legal remedy and interdict you and Cde Jorum Gumbo from using or associating my name with these purported elections.
“Associating me against my will infringes on my rights in terms of the party’s constitution and in terms of our country’s national Constitution.”
Cde Chombo yesterday dismissed Col Masanganise’s claims saying: “I don’t connive with people, but with truth. As far as we know, Cde Gumbo is the one we have send to supervise elections in Masvingo tomorrow. We expect him to do that tomorrow (today).”
Addressing a Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial co-ordinating committee meeting at Victoria Junior School yesterday, Cde Mathema said he would fulfil the task he was given by the Politburo of holding the elections, with or without Rtd Col Masanganise.
“All I can say is that if there are any challenges we will meet them as we go,” he said.
“I am here to execute a task given to me by the Politburo and we will do it.
“No formal communication has been sent informing me otherwise about the elections.’’
The elections’ command centre will be housed at Chevron Hotel in the city.
During the first poll, voting only took place in 64 percent of the 408 party districts that were supposed to vote, with polling failing to take place in some areas owing to a number of factors, including bad weather.
Provisional results released by Cde Gumbo then showed Cde Chadzamira leading by 12 393 votes against Col Masanganise’s 4 888.
Voting material such as ballot papers were expected to arrive from the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare last night.
There will be 408 polling centres across the seven districts in Masvingo where voting will take place.
Central Committee member Cde Clemence Makwarimba will supervise the elections in Masvingo and Cde Cuthbert Muzara will be in charge of Mwenezi.
Cde Kennedy Matimba will be in Bikita, with Cde Titus Maluleke in charge of Chiredzi.
In Gutu, there will be Cde Lovemore Matuke, with Cde Paul Mangwana in Chivi, while Cde Vincent Mawere will be in Zaka.
Politburo member Cde Shuvai Mahofa donated $500 towards the running of the polls.