THE ruling Zanu PF party has deployed its politburo members and top officials to various parts of the country to decampaign disgruntled party members who chose to stand as independent candidates in the July 30 general elections.
Several Zanu PF aspiring candidates last week filed their nomination papers to contest as independent candidates in protest over the chaotic party primary elections concluded last month.
On Saturday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema addressed Zanu PF supporters at Dombwe in Murewa South, where he urged them to ditch former central committee member Noah Mangondo who has opted to contest as an independent candidate against Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Joel Biggie Matiza.
Efforts to get a comment from Matiza were fruitless yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered, but provincial youth league boss Kelvin Mutsvairo confirmed the visits and said they were meant to unite the people and strengthen the party.
“It is true that our politburo members were in the province. I know that Comrade Mathema was in Murewa and director of commissariat [Kizito] Kuchekwa was in Goromonzi West. In Seke, Comrade Aplonia Munzverengi [women’s league commissar] came on behalf of [Finance] minister Patrick Chinamasa. The idea was to campaign for the President and unite the people. The constituencies visited are the ones with independent candidates and as you know, once you fail to listen to the party you automatically expel yourself,” he said.
Yesterday, Zanu PF leadership in Mashonaland East reportedly summoned central committee members and war veterans in Marondera constituency to decampaign the former deputy secretary for the indigenisation and empowerment portfolio, Richard Mavhunga, who is contesting against party candidate, Sphiwe Mukunyaidze.
Mavhunga confirmed the development yesterday.
“Today (yesterday) I am in Marondera West to kick-start my campaign. The Zanu PF leaders have summoned the central committee members and war veterans from the constituency, but that will not deter me from standing as an independent,” he said.
Senate president Edna Madzongwe on Sunday reportedly addressed a rally in Caledonia, Goromonzi South where two Zanu PF losing candidates Oswald Gwanzura and Eugene Makore will stand as independent candidates against Petronella Kagonye.
According to Mutsvairo, Kuchekwa was deployed to Goromonzi West constituency where former party heavyweight Biata Nyamupinga is contesting against Zanu PF’s Energy Mutodi.
Nyamupinga was recently recalled from Parliament together with former Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa, who is also contesting as an independent.
Addressing party supporters at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo on Friday, Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa threatened to fire all rebels from the party and challenged them to accept primary election results.
In Masvingo, three Zanu PF members Darlington Chiwa, Pascal Mudzikisi and Francis Moyo will stand as independent candidates on July 30.