As results started trickling in last night, some Zanu PF bigwigs including former Health minister David Parirenyatwa, politburo member Tendai Chirau and ex-wife of ruling party deputy president Kembo Mohadi, Tambudzani fell by the wayside in chaotic central committee elections held yesterday.
The polls were marred by reports of vote buying with ICT minister Jenfan Muswere arriving at a polling station in Manicaland with a truck full of bicycles in what was seen as an attempt to buy votes.
Parirenyatwa and Lillian Zemura were defeated by David Mugomeza in Murewa district.
In Beitbridge, Mohadi and Ambassador Aaron Maboyi fell by the wayside in the polls.
Although returning officer Zanu PF provincial member Ntombiyakhe Ndlovu did not disclose official results, excited participants said former Beitbridge Mayor Showa Moyo had bagged the women’s quota slot ahead of Mohadi.
Mohadi’s supporters disputed the results.
“Results will be released from the province but all I can tell you is that all went well and it was indeed peaceful,” Ndlovu said.
Zanu PF insiders said war veteran Mazibisa Ngwenya beat three other candidates for the Beitbridge East slot while sitting proportional representative MP for Beitbridge Metrine Mudau brushed aside a challenge by Maboyi.
In Wedza district, former Transport Deputy minister Michael Madanha and his Foreign Affairs ministry counterpart David Musabayana lost.
They protested saying the elections were rigged.
Madanha was defeated by Esther Gwatidzo while Musabayana lost to Bertha Choto.
Madanha is a former Wedza South MP and former Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) board chairperson while Musabayana is the current Wedza North MP.
Chirau, a politburo member, was outpolled in Harare by Mavis Gumbo.
In Hurungwe North, the elections had to be postponed after former finance deputy minister Terence Mukupe caused a scene at Karoi Country Club where voting was taking place.
There was chaos as two of his bouncers including an election agent were chased away from the venue with one of them forced to delete videos and photos that he had taken.
Mukupe was contesting against former deputy minister and MP Reuben Marumahoko. There were ugly scenes from drunken youths who claimed there was vote buying ahead of the elections.
Some voters were booked at local hotels and guest houses around the farming town of Karoi amid claims that they were given cash and mobile phones among other goodies.
Close allies of the late Robert Mugabe such as Sydney Sekeramayi and Webster Shamu were however celebrating after winning.
Sekeramayi was uncontested in Marondera while Shamu won in Chegutu West.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s close ally and controversial socialite Mike Chimombe won in Chinhoyi after he outpolled Charles Mutisi and Alderman Simbarashe Kanzou.
Chimombe is out of custody on $56 000 bail for fraud charges.
In Makonde, deputy information minister Kindness Paradza won uncontested after Phineas Makumbe withdrew citing “unethical and dirty politics”
“I Phineas Makumbe do hereby withdraw my candidature for the central committee elections for Makonde district owing to the unethical and dirty politics being exhibited by my opponent Kindness Paradza” Makumbe wrote in his withdrawal letter.
Philip Chiyangwa won in Zvimba South while Marian Chombo was elected in Zvimba North.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was uncontested in Zvimba West while former CIO operative Francis Mukwangwariri emerged victorious in Zvimba East.
In Matabeleland, logistical challenges affected the elections as voting in areas such as Hwange and Binga started after 3pm, an hour before the deadline.
Reports said Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and his wife Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu won in Umguza. Sikhanyisiwe was unopposed.
In Harare, a tense atmosphere engulfed the polling areas as Zanu PF candidates battled it out for Central Committee positions.
The voting process was delayed in all Harare’s six districts with counting going into the night.
At Stodart Hall in Mbare, visibly drunk youths caused chaos after their preferred candidate one Gijima had been contested. The youths wanted to beat up other contestants for contesting Gijima.
Zanu PF’s Harare team leader Maybe Mbowa said the delay was caused by meticulous verification by the electoral college.
“We are still counting the votes because there was a slight delay. Everything went on well,” Mbowa said.
The Central Committee is Zanu PF’s supreme decision making body in-between congresses. Yesterday’s elections were held weeks away from the party’s elective congress.
— The Standard