George Maponga in Mwenezi —
Zanu-PF is geared for a landslide victory in this week’s Mwenezi East National Assembly by-election, the ruling party’s Secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo has said.
Addressing thousands of party supporters at a rally to drum up support for Zanu-PF candidate Cde Joosbi Omar here yesterday, Dr Chombo said: “Parties like the MDC-T, (Dr Joice) Mujuru’s party and others fronted by the likes of Messrs (Rugare) Gumbo and (Didymus) Mutasa do not stand for the people. Zanu-PF is the only party that stands for the people as evidenced by its policies such as the Land Reform Programme.
“Let us go out in large numbers and vote for Cde Omar. I hear there are 56 000 registered voters in Mwenezi East; let us make sure Zanu-PF garners more than 35 000 votes.”
Dr Chombo told ruling party supporters not to pay attention to the opposition as it always tried to discredit elections that it consistently lost to Zanu-PF.
He described Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — who had filed nomination papers on a Zimbabwe People First ticket, only to withdraw them later — as a “confused political charlatan”.
“Bhasikiti is saying he has withdrawn from the race, but he should have done so before ballot papers with his name had been printed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Why didn’t he withdraw in time?
“We know during the day he claims to have withdrawn, yet at night, he will be campaigning. Let us go and reject him come Saturday. The fact that prior to his purported withdrawal, he had failed to hold a single rally shows his lack of support in Mwenezi East.
“Our party campaign team in Mwenezi East is now embarking on polling station-based campaigns to polish up its work ahead of the poll.”
Ruling party stalwart and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Shuvai Mahofa said, “Zanu-PF is headed for a crushing victory here in Mwenezi East. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Zanu-PF Government for giving the people of Mwenezi food aid and agricultural inputs.”
The Mwenezi East seat fell vacant following the expulsion of Mr Bhasikiti from Zanu-PF after being linked to Dr Mujuru’s cabal that wanted to unseat President Mugabe.
Cde Omar will square up against Mr Turner Mhango of Free Zimbabwe Congress and Mr Welcome Masuku of the National Constitutional Assembly.
Among the dignitaries at yesterday’s rally were Cdes Joseph Made, Josiah Hungwe and Lovemore Matuke.