Mnangagwa’s faction decimated in party provincial elections, he postpones going on leave

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE –The embattled Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction has suffered devastating losses in the party’s just ended provincial elections prompting the party leader into postponing going on leave.

The chaos surrounding Zanu PF provincial elections following which the ruling party banned its members from celebrating presumed victories in internal polls has once again exposed that democratic processes are alien to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party.

On Friday, Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha announced the winners of the provincial executive polls held last week in the 10 provinces of the country. A day later, he backtracked, saying the results would only be valid if the politburo endorses them.

Former Tongaat Hullet director and Chiredzi West MP Farai Musikavanhu is out of Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial executive after he lost in recent party elections.

Musikavanhu was the Provincial Secretary for Finance fell by the wayside together with his ally and boss, Ezra Chadzamira who lost the race for the party’s provincial chairman position.

Results gleaned by The Mirror show that Francis Moyo, a former Chiredzi town council chairperson beat Musikavanhu with 538 votes against 368.

Moyo who was the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) secretary for Transport and Social Welfare entered the race as a dark horse to beat Chadzamira’s right hand man.

Although he could not be reached for comment, Musikavanhu appeared to concede defeat in a statement he posted on social media.

“I take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the provincial elections. The official results are not yet out, but I want to congratulate all those who contested and won. As for me I will accept the results as they come.”

Musikavanhu was prior to the election accused of looting Cottco and presidential inputs which he was alleged to have used for vote buying. And over 50 Zanu PF youths from Chiredzi West demonstrated at Musikavanhu’ residence.

Zanu PF district youth political commissar, Learnmore Mangunda said “we were demanding that Musikavanhu release the inputs he has in his warehouse. President Mnangagwa said inputs should be given to anyone regardless of political affiliation, but he is using them as a campaigning tool”.

The revelation that the election’s outcome will now be decided by the party leadership that did not oversee the election process, but has the power to overturn results, is hardly surprising given Zanu PF’s checkered history when it comes to polls.

It is disgraceful that a party that prides itself as the face of democracy cannot even declare results of its own internal elections and has to wait  for Mnangagwa and his politburo members to huddle around a table who should “win”.

This shameful charade is sadly not limited to the ruling party’s internal polls which were fraught with violence, bribery and chaos.

Mnangagwa has, since coming into power, shredded the country’s Constitution overwhelmingly voted by the country’s citizens to strengthen his grip on power, particularly making the Judiciary, a key pillar of the State, beholden to him.

The farcical nature of the ruling party’s recent elections is in tandem with Zanu PF’s democracy deficit in which even Mnangagwa’s succession of the late former President  Robert Mugabe was not through a smooth handover of power through polls, but through the barrel of a gun.

Given the chaos that riddled the party’s elections and with the by-elections just around the corner, we should be worried, very worried!