Zanu PF MP admits to vote buying

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

ZVIMBA East legislator Tawanda Tungamirai has admitted vote buying is rampant within the ruling party, where freebies and money exchange hands in return for powerful positions.

The lawmaker confessed that he is in the habit of doling out trinkets to the electorate in his rural constituency in exchange for votes.

The excitable Tungamirai made the gaffe as he gave a vote of thanks during a function at Gwebi Agricultural College in Nyabira, Mashonaland West Thursday.

“When l produce (tobacco) bales and maize, l give the community something and they tend to vote for me. You buy a few things for the community, and they vote for you. Long ago, people would just vote without demanding anything, but these days they say, do something for us to do something for you,” Tungamirai said.

“These people pester you, they literally beg you and cannibalise on you. So, if l were not a serious farmer l would not have the capabilities…as a leader you need to have capabilities to fund your politics,” he said.

He added: “Politics doesn’t pay. Somebody asked me Tawanda why do you want to be in politics, and l have said Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You get to a point where you just want power, whether you have no cent, but merely to have power (to the extent) that when you arrive at a place, people cheer you… that’s power,” he mused.

During primary and general elections, Zanu PF politicians are notorious for luring voters by dishing out food hampers, seed, fertilizer and branded party regalia such as T-shirts, caps and wrappers popularly known as MaZambia.

The youthful parliamentarian, who is son to late liberation war hero Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, described as deadly the turf wars fought within Zanu PF as politicians tussle for positions of authority.