SEVERAL Zanu PF bigwigs, mostly politburo members and Cabinet ministers, were left in shock yesterday after they lost in the just-ended party primary elections, a development likely to end their political careers.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s adviser, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zanu PF chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri and Scholarships minister Christopher Mushohwe were some of the notable casualties who were routed by “political upstarts’” in an internal election marred by reports of massive rigging.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s mother-in-law, Helga Mubaiwa was left licking her political wounds in Seke, and war veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya was also not lucky as he received a drubbing from Mnangagwa’s nephew, Tongai, in Harare South constituency.
While some Zanu PF sources said the party chair had won by a wide margin, unconfirmed reports claimed Muchinguri, a constant in Zanu PF politics, lost to Joyce Bukuta in the battle for the women’s quota in Nyanga, while Mutsvangwa was blown out by greenhorn, Langton Mutendereki in Norton.
“This is a G40-Gamatox coalition interfering in the Zanu PF political processes and determined to stop Mutsvangwa because I was at the centre of [former president Robert] Mugabe’s fall,” an apoplectic Mutsvangwa said.
“I have been advised to leave things as they are. My supporters are traumatised, have been harassed and suffered the worst abuses in violation of their rights as party members.”
He could, however, not confirm the results circulating on social media.
“I have made an appeal to the national commissar Engelbert Rugeje.
“Revengist (sic) G40-Gamatox cohorts have zeroed in on Norton with the sole goal of blocking Mutsvangwa as the ruling party’s candidate in July,” Mutsvangwa said. “In typical manner, they are trampling on every rule [of] proper electoral practice. They are harrying bona fide party cadres.”
Mutsvangwa, according to unverified results, polled 197 votes against Mutendereki’s jolting 13 349 in what appeared to be a one-sided internal poll.
In Matabeleland South, Provincial Affairs minister Abednigo Ncube was reported to have lost to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation employee Omphile Marupi, while former Sports minister Andrew Langa was another casualty.
Another casualty was experienced in Chikomba West, where Industry minister Mike Bimha lost to medical practitioner, John Mangwiro.
In Mutasa-Nyanga constituency, former ministers Hubert Nyanhongo and Mike Nyambuya went head-to-head in a battle won by the former.
In Mashonaland East province, besides Mubaiwa, who lost to Munyaradzi Kashambe, former Industry minister Phenias Chihota also fell by the wayside.
In Wedza South, Chiwenga’s nephew and former Transport deputy minister Michael Madanha lost to youth league executive, Tinodaishe Machakaire, while Provincial Affairs minister David Musabayana retained his Wedza North ticket.
Machakaire won with 4 177 votes against Madanha’s 1 466.
In Marondera East constituency, incumbent legislator Jeremiah Chiwetu lost to newcomer Patrick Chidhakwa, who scored 3 597 votes.
In Mutoko East, sitting legislator, Ricky Mawere lost his party ticket to businessman, Richard Musiiwa.
In Goromonzi North, newcomer MetBank chief executive officer, Ozias Bvute clinched the seat after defeating Nyasha Matsika and Kudzai Majuru.
In Midlands, Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi lost his senatorial bid to National Railways of Zimbabwe board chairman, Larry Mavima
Mushohwe was humiliated by Teedzayi Muchimwe in Mutare West, while former police spokesperson, Oliver Mandipaka, who suffered the ignominy of being briefly locked up, lost to little-known, Soul Nzuma in Buhera West.
Former Constitution Parliamentary Committee co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana’s attempt to represent Zanu PF in Chivi North came unstuck against ex-Central Intelligence Organisation provincial boss, Ephraim Gwanongodza.
Irene Zindi lost to Misheck Mugadza in Mutasa South and in a Facebook post, she claimed the primary election had been rigged, with people voting in the dead of night.
Luke Masamvu was reportedly on the ropes, despite having brought two bus-full loads of his supporters to one polling station in Mutasa North.
Singer Elias Musakwa took Bikita West, while businessman, Energy Mutodi won in Goromonzi West, beating Beatrice Nyamupinga, the sitting MP.
Zanu PF youth league deputy politburo secretary, Lewis Matutu lost in Zvishavane together with sitting MP, John Holder to little-known Dumezweni Mpofu.
Reports initially indicated that Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe boss Tafadza Musarara had lost in Mazowe West to Sports minister Kazembe Kazembe, but the poll was nullified over alleged irregularities.
Kazembe confirmed that the election results were nullified, but was confident this would not change the outcome, as he expected a landslide victory.
“It is only one centre out of 15 and that won’t change the outcome,” he said.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa scrapped through in Makoni Central, while Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association Harare provincial deputy chairperson, Hoyini Bhila, won in Chiredzi North constituency.
Chinamasa confirmed he had won: “I have won, but I am not sure about others.”
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi won Zvimba West, his Local Government counterpart July Moyo sneaked through with fine margins in Redcliff and Presidential Guard boss Anselem Sanyatwe’s wife Chido triumphed in Nyanga North.
Former Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora was claiming victory by “five votes”, but sources said he had been beaten by another upstart Precious Chinhamo-Masango for the Mhangura constituency.
Dexter Nduna retained Chegutu West, but not without incident, after he allegedly fired gun shots to scare away his rivals during a night of high drama late Monday.
He confirmed that there was violence in Chegutu and he fired warning shots to protect his agents. “I’m in the counting room. On that issue, yes, I fired shots to protect my agent, whose life was being threatened,” the lawmaker said.
Acting Information minister Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed he would get another chance to represent Matabeleland South in the Senate after winning the right to stand for Zanu PF amid claims at some point his job was on the line.
Senator Tambudzani Mohadi shrugged off a stiff challenge from an-ally-turned-foe Rabelani Choeni for the senatorial ticket, as Albert Nguluvhe bagged the Beitbridge East parliamentary ticket.
Beitbridge West legislator Metrine Mudau lost to Ruth Maboyi.
In Shurugwi North, Robert Nyathi emerged the winner after thumping former minister Francis Nhema, whereas Gweru Vungu sitting MP, Josphat Madubeko lost to Zifa vice-chairman, Omega Sibanda.
Pedzisai Munanzvi lost his Chirumanzu South seat to Environmental Management Agency board member, Barbara Rwodzi, while National Youth Service Gweru district commander, Esau Machinyise won in Gweru urban after pummelling former town clerk, Godfrey Nhemachena and Tinomudaishe Chinyoka.
Some losing party candidates in the Midlands province, however, filed letters of complaint, citing voting irregularities.
Batsirayi Pemhenayi, who lost the Mutare North seat to Mike Madiro, the Manicaland provincial chairperson, accused his opponent of taking charge of the distribution of ballot papers and has since written to the commissariat complaining over the way the polls were conducted.
“This letter serves to complain and nullify the Mutare North constituency Zanu PF primary elections results, which were solely conducted by Mike Madiro using stolen ballot papers.
“Madiro conducted secret polls without my polling agents,” he wrote.
In Gutu South, the late Shuvai Mahofa’s daughter, Fungai, lost to youth affairs secretary Pupurayi Togarepi.
Official results were announced in Chiredzi, where Chiredzi West was taken by Farai Musikavanhu, Chiredzi East — Denford Masiya and Chiredzi South — Kalisto Gwanetsa. Nyasha Chikwinya lost Mutare South to Jeffrey Ngome.