Zanu PF fails internal democracy test as violence, rigging mar DCC elections

Oppah Muchinguri
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Zanu PF is in the eye of a storm following its chaotic holding of the District Co-ordinating Committee (DCC) elections which have left the party more divided across factional lines, Zim Morning Post can report..

This comes on backdrop of rigging allegations, voter intimidation and manipulation which has compelled the national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri to order re-runs in some districts.

While Addressing the media in Harare on Monday, Muchinguri confirmed that there were challenges in conducting the elections.

“While we recognise the positive results on the ground, we acknowledge challenges with regards to delays in the distribution of ballot papers and boxes, inequitable distribution of ballot papers, and shortage of presiding officers,” Muchinguri said.

However, investigations by the Zim Morning Post revealed that massive rigging took place with insiders claiming ballot stuffing was the order of the day in some districts around the country.

“How do you explain a case where a centre which is supposed to have 160 votes ends up with 187 ballots?” questioned a Zanu PF insider.

“It speaks into massive rigging. Some candidates were not on the ballot papers while some voters failed to vote because their names were missing from the voters roll,” the insider added.

The source also said a number of voters boycotted voting after their preferred candidates were removed from the ballot papers without any explanation.

Other sources who spoke to Zim Morning Post claimed that there was violence in some areas of Mutare, Chinhoyi and Mashonaland East, with the elections in those areas reportedly postponed.

“Some party members burnt ballot boxes, claiming that their favourite candidates were dropped from the ballot papers.

“In Mutare, there were riots after some party members burnt ballot papers following allegations of vote-rigging and buying,” said a Zanu PF official who declined to be named fearing reprisal.

“Four candidates, Binali Yard, Clever Muparutsa, war veteran Ivan Mbengo, and the outspoken Cecilia Gambe, were competing for the Mutare chairpersonship,” the official added.

In Chinhoyi, violence is also said to have erupted as members accused of belonging to the Philip Chiyangwa faction were allegedly caught vote-buying.

Some Zanu PF members claimed that Chiyangwa had delayed the voting process, only to appear with ballot papers hours later.

Last week this publication also reported allegations of vote-buying, intimidation, and rigging in the Midlands province where party bigwigs were battling to strategically position their preferred candidates in the party’s influential grassroots organ.

In Mashonaland Central, a group calling itself Boko Haram is said to have been terrorising party members and threatening to whip them into line if they did not vote for candidates being backed by Home Affairs minister, Kazembe Kazembe.