Zanu PF poll chaos: Mnangagwa pleads with protesters to save his image

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Friday reportedly pleaded with disgruntled supporters from Mazowe West Constituency to stop their demonstration at the Zanu PF headquarters as it tarnished his image and that of the party.

More than 300 disgruntled party supporters from Mazowe West had gathered at the party’s headquarters in Harare demanding to see President Mnangagwa to register their displeasure with the manner in which primary elections in their constituency were conducted.

The supporters claimed Kazembe Kazembe, who was declared the winner, had manipulated the party’s structures and tampered with the registers to disenfranchise those who were deemed to be backing Harare businessman, Tafadzwa Musarara.

They were now demanding that Kazembe Kazembe, who is the acting provincial secretary for Mashonaland Central, be disqualified for cheating and dishonesty, saying he could no longer be trusted to take part in the party’s primaries should a re-run be called.

“How do you expect to hold elections with such a crook, he will obviously use his position to rig again,” said one of the supporters.

As the supporters demonstrated at the Zanu PF offices, Mnangagwa was launching the party’s manifesto and election campaign at the Harare International Conference Centre, some 300 metres away.

Addressing the supporters outside the Zanu PF Headquarters, the party’s National Youth Political Commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu said he had been asked by the President to plead with them to postpone their demonstration to another day after the launch.

“The president said he had been told that there were people demonstrating at the HQ and he asked where they are from and he was told they are from Mashonaland Central. That is when I and Nhamburo were asked to come here and listen to your issues.

“The issue here is that if you follow Twitter, ..There is someone here called Gidiza who tweeted to say whilst Mnangagwa is launching his manifesto, there is another activity going on at his HQ, things fall apart.

“Go also to Jonathan Moyo’s tweets; go to Kasukuwere’s tweets, they are celebrating as we speak. So the issues we are discussing here are such that when you look at it, Kasukuwere tweeted that he is now relieved…

“So we are now looking at case by case but we are saying for the sake of the party’s image and that of the president, can you please stop whatever you are doing. Even if you want to come back tomorrow …we are coming to engage you as leadership,” Tsenengamu said.

Tsenengamu said the leadership had agreed to look into all the complaints from various constituencies individually, adding that although the results had already been announced, there was still room for the grievances to be resolved amicably.

He assured the protesters that their issues would be solved, saying that he was also aggrieved and had presented his challenge of the primaries in Mount Darwin through the party channels.

“I am also aggrieved because the person who is said to have won the primaries was not even in the cell register, he was Tyson’s person but the issue is that he has been declared winner but there is a procedure; I have written my letter and given it to the commissioner for Mashonaland Central, Mai Paradza, who asked me to also copy the national as well as security. As we speak we were invited yesterday, they are inviting aggrieved parties bit by bit to come and present their cases,” he said.