PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa today flies into a political storm in Masvingo after several disgruntled members of his Zanu PF party successfully filed their nomination papers as independent candidates to challenge the party’s official candidates in elections set for July 30.
These include Darlington Chiwa who will battle it out with the party’s official candidate for Chiredzi West constituency, Farai Musikavanhu.
Chiwa and Francis Moyo withdrew from the chaotic Zanu PF primaries alleging rigging after their names were erased from the party’s voters roll.
Pascal Mudzikisi, who was blocked in Masvingo North, has also filed to stand against Agriculture deputy minister Davis Marapira.
In Masvingo Urban, little-known party member, Michael Taderera, who was banned from contesting, filed his nomination papers as an independent to stand against Bernard Mazarire.
The developments fly in the face of Mnangagwa who had preached unity in the party and urged fellow party members to bury differences caused by the sham polls in the face of competition from other opposition parties who are contesting the July 30 polls.
Mnangagwa even held a national healing workshop for losing and winning candidates, but it seems he failed to appease the disgruntled party members.
Zanu PF chief whip, Lovemore Matuke conceded that the defiance by disgruntled party members would divide party votes.
“This will affect our chances in those constituencies because the votes would be divided,” he said.
Chiwa, however, said he remains Zanu PF at heart.
“I am just standing as an independent, but I am Zanu PF. I will even attend the President’s rally today,” he said.