Mayhem As Zanu PF Election Candidates Flee With Ballot Papers Amid Massive Rigging

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By Leopold Munhende

VIOLENCE in parts of Mashonaland West and allegations of rigging across the country’s 10 provinces characterised Zanu PF’s provincial elections held Tuesday, with some candidates being accused of fleeing with ballot papers.

Delayed delivery of ballot papers to polling stations was reported in most parts of the country with some members alleging the move was deliberately employed to frustrate rivals’ supporters.

Old women spent the greater part of the day under shades, where there was, waiting for a chance to choose their provincial chairperson, women’s league chairperson, and youth league leader.

In Masvingo voting, which was supposed to have been conducted between 7am and 5pm, only started around 4pm and was expected to proceed until late last night.

In Bulawayo, confusion on whether people were supposed to be given two or four ballots resulted in one polling agent suggesting the challenges will all be addressed by the Politburo, with a potential rerun if necessary.

“Let us accept that after the result, the final decision will come from the Politburo based on the difference, if it means a rerun so be it,” said the visibly irritated agent in comversation with Bulawayo Ward 15 chairperson and candidate Benard Nhata.

Some candidates further questioned why only 45 ballot papers had been delivered at their polling stations yet 120 people were supposed to vote.

In Highfield, Harare, some members of Zanu PF could be head complaining about assisted voters and those who were assisting them, with more quiries on whether those assisting were doing as they had been asked to.

Mashonaland West had scenes of violence as names of some candidates could not be found on any ballot paper.

What ensured was chaotic, as members pushed, dragged and hit each other in anger and frustration.

Mashonaland Central had its usual cases of vote rigging allegations against incumbent Kazembe Kazembe, whose agents allegedly tried to flee with ballot papers in Muzarabani.

Preliminary results there indicate that his fierce rival Tafadzwa Musarara is leading.

Voting was also delayed for unexplained reasons.

The run up to D-Day had been riddled with numerous cases of violence and vote buying, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa forced to suspend campaign in November as the situation became too tense to bare.

Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga were being pitted against each other in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and Harare where Zanu PF factional fights were playing out in the open.