VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s mother-in-law, Helga Mubaiwa, has taken Zanu PF and its national commissar Engelbert Rugeje to court contesting her defeat in the just-ended primary elections, in the process inadvertently exposing the ruling party’s alleged rigging machinations.
Mubaiwa lost to Munyaradzi Kashambe in Zanu PF primary elections for Seke constituency recently, but disputed the results, claiming the polls were marred by a litany of irregularities, which include shambolic voters’ rolls and alleged use of a police bus to transport polling officers and ballot papers.
In her urgent High Court chamber application, Mubaiwa is seeking an order barring Kashambe from campaigning pending the disposition of her appeal and an order barring Rugeje and the ruling party from treating Kashambe as the official candidate for this year’s elections until her matter has been resolved.
“I am a member of the third respondent (Zanu PF), which is a political party registered in Zimbabwe of which the second respondent (Rugeje) is its political commissar who was responsible for administering the said third respondent’s primary elections to select candidates to represent it in the forthcoming harmonised elections,” she said.
“I aver that in the said primary elections, I was certified by the second and third respondents among many other candidates (the first respondent, Kashambe, included), to participate therein in the hope of representing the Seke rural parliamentary constituency on behalf of Zanu PF.
“For many reasons . . . I was aggrieved by the outcome of the said primary election. And after the result was announced on the night of May 9, 2018, I immediately noted an appeal to the relevant authority. It remains pending,” she said. “I have no doubt that my said appeal has positive prospects. In fact, there is a grand chance that a rerun may be ordered as a consequence of my said appeal.”
Mubaiwa claimed cell registers used during the primary elections were defective.
Several losing Zanu PF candidates in various parts of the country have raised similar concerns, describing the party primaries as farcical.
“It will be submitted in the above regard that the cell registers that were used in the disputed elections were not up to date, as required by the governing regulations. Most eligible voters were disenfranchised,” Mubaiwa said.
She attached a report from Mashonaland East province written by one Abigail Moyo, who alleged that ballot papers were not enough in the constituency and that some names were not appearing in the registers.
“A report was made to a Mr (Zanu PF director of commissariat Kizito) Kuchekwa to the effect that many voters had not been able to cast their vote. Kuchekwa instructed that voting would continue on April 30, but ballot papers had run out. Kuchekwa improvised some ballot papers, which he gave us. Kuchekwa then gave the police 160 litres of fuel for the police bus to distribute polling officers and ballot papers. He also gave 60 litres of fuel to the constituency for youths in his vehicle.”
Mubaiwa said, however, notwithstanding the fact that she had filed an appeal, Rugeje proceeded to present Kashambe as the party’s candidate for the constituency.
“In fact, the respondent (Kashambe) has started enjoying the full benefits of the third respondent’s candidacy, as if his winning declaration is not under challenge and has drawn the party regalia which he is using to start his campaign,” she said.
Mubaiwa further said in the event that she emerges the winner in the rerun, Kashambe’s campaign would create confusion within the electorate.
“I observe that there is no other way for me to seek reprieve herein otherwise, than through an urgent chamber application.”
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.