ZANU PF is set to proceed with the Masvingo provincial chairmanship poll re-run despite the other candidate, Mutero Masanganise pulling out at the eleventh hour.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Masanganise, linked to the G40 faction in Zanu PF, was set to battle it out with former chairman, Ezra Chadzamira, linked to the rival Lacoste faction.
Masanganise wrote to the party leadership saying he was pulling out of the race.
He informed the party of the withdrawal of his candidature in a letter seen by NewsDay.
“I wish to put it on record that I have not offered myself as a candidate for these purported new elections pencilled for May 6, 2017. The use of my name as a candidate is, therefore, mischievous, illegal and scandalous.
“It is important to note that, I was never part of the manipulated process and refuse to have any association with these so called new elections,” reads part of the letter.
Masanganise also threatened legal action should his name be associated with the re-run.
“I would like to accordingly inform your esteemed office and also give notice that, unless my name is publicly disassociated with these purported elections by May 4, 2017, I shall have no choice but to seek legal remedy and interdict you and Joram Gumbo from using or associating my name with these purported elections,” he said in a letter addressed to the party secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo.
“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.”
Masanganise alleged named members of the military were intimidating his supporters. However, the party defied his pull-out and yesterday convened a provincial coordinating committee meeting at Victoria Junior Primary School, where modalities for the polls were discussed.
Although journalists from the private media were barred from entering the hall, different districts caucused the meeting, discussing the voting centres and other logistics. The co-election supervisor, Cain Mathema, who chaired the meeting yesterday, refused to grant interviews to the NewsDay Weekender.
“I do not talk to the NewsDay. You will misquote whatever I would have said. I have never granted an interview to NewsDay and I cannot start that now. However, is it our constitutional right to choose whoever attends our meetings,” he said.
Sources in the party said the party has no option but proceed with the polls since Masanganise was supposed to withdraw his candidature two weeks before.
The elections were aborted a few weeks ago after it emerged that some party districts had been skipped, as they were inaccessible due to inclement weather.
Before the polls were called off, Chadzamira, who was once suspended for alleged indiscipline before being cleared by the politburo, had polled 12 393 votes against Masanganise’s 4 888 votes.
Masanganise also challenged the results, alleging massive electoral irregularities.