By Staff Reporter
CHAOS was evident this past weekend as the ruling party – Zanu PF – failed to smoothly run its district coordinating committee (DCC) elections amid claims of vote-rigging, missing ballot papers characterised by violence.
A scheduled press conference Sunday evening by Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri at the party headquarters in Harare failed to take place after the defence minister failed to show up.
Journalists had to wait for more than four hours before they walked out of the conference room.
Zanu PF DCC were held elections in eight provinces minus Harare and Bulawayo. The two have already conducted their elections.
However, vote rigging allegations were reported in most parts of the country including violent scenes as disgruntled rival factions fought to protect their favoured candidates.
In Mutare, there are reports of violence after party members burnt ballot papers as they complained of vote rigging.
Presiding officers were also accused of stuffing ballot papers into their pockets after receiving bribes from candidates.
In Marondera Central, some voters abandoned the polls because the names of their candidates of choice were missing from the ballot paper. One of the candidates whose name was missing was former Marondera Central MP Lawrence Katsiru, who is perceived to be G40 functionary.
However, Zanu PF secretary for external affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi who is leading the team in Mashonaland West province said there were some logistical challenges that delayed ballots delivery.
“We had logistical challenges in the delivery of ballots in time Saturday. Our polling teams managed to deliver voting material to all the 352 polling stations. Some centres failed to vote on Saturday as some received ballots late that day while others were dispatched today as such, voting spilled over to today (yesterday) to accord every member their democratic right,” said Mumbengegwi.
He said the party resolved to stop voting for certain positions in Hurungwe and Kadoma to correct certain anomalies that included certain names missing on ballots.
Zanu PF secretary for production Josiah Hungwe who is leading the team in Mashonaland Central blamed the rains for the delays faced in completing the election.
“Voting proceeded in Mbire and Muzarabani and other places that were affected by the rains and they promised that they will be done Monday. We are happy that voting was conducted smoothly and people were enthusiastic,” Hungwe said.
Voting was supposed to end Saturday with results announced Monday.