Vote Buying Antics Exposed In Gokwe-Gumunyu Constituency
By Staff Reporter
It never rains but it pours as vote-buying antics exposed in Gokwe-Gumunyu Constituency after the just-ended ZANU-PF primary elections conducted on 25 March 2023.
Reports received from some parts of the Gokwe-Gumunyu Constituency confirm that the sitting MP Stephen Ngwenya from the ruling party (ZANU PF) is implicated in alleged vote-buying and electoral corruption.
Information gathered from a source who requested to be anonymous in the constituency, indicated that in many polling centers cell registers were made to disappear or were not availed such that many were denied the right to vote.
The source said in some centers, agents were initially chased away by the polling officer so that he or she would do the shenanigans.
The source revealed to this publication the dishing out free food and other goodies to the electorate: For instance at Sanyati Mine the sitting MP giving free food to the electorate, which they never did before.
“The question that should be asked is why now, when the country is heading towards the 2023 Harmonized General Elections? Why didn’t they give the food before?” asked ine cincerned villager.
*Corruption has denied able people who have a clear vision and the love of their constituency an opportunity to lead.”
Another villager, who also asked not to be named, chipped in: “There is nothing tangible to talk about in terms of delivering his mandate to the people of Gumunyu.
“CDE. Steven Ngwenya has been our MP since 2018.
“He was never with the people during the last five years only to come to most districts just before the primary elections with Chibuku beer, Pepsi drinks, plates and cups…just because there was now stiff competition and he was begging to be reelected.
“Ngwenya and his team which comprised some DCC and Provincial members played dirty in trying to stop aspiring candidates to campaign and meet with the people,” the villager explained.
The source said in some gatherings there were near fist fights as Ngwenya and his team was trying to stop other candidates to address people and in most cases, they would end up addressing people by force.
The source highlighted that the FAZ people who conducted elections were captured by Ngwenya as well so most of them were his people. They were invited to a selected venue whereby all the shenanigans were planned and its alleged that they were paid nicely by Ngwenya.
The information gathered indicated that during the election day there was a clear sign that the FAZ officials were doing the job on behalf of Ngwenya, not the party or other candidates.
“In some centers where Ngwenya knew that he didn’t have support they would be dropped late in the afternoon.
“It is Ngwenya and his people who were doing these droppings. In Kasonde one of the Districts, the polling officer was not dropped at the polling centre but rather he was dropped at Nyaurungwe Primary school.
“That was not a mistake but rather a deliberate move. However people were not deterred at all as they organised transport to ferry themselves to Nyaurungwe primary school to exercise their right,” said the source.
The source said the official results from the 28 District centers were being communicated by the agents and in most centers they would be displayed such that it was easier for the candidates to do their tallying as well.
According to the correct and official results from the 28 districts Ngwenya was on position 3 and CDE. Muduvuri Jimayi is the one who was in pole position.
After realising that he had been beaten that’s when they tampered with the results and they had to add fictitious votes to his 2380 which he had officially garnered such that they had to say he had managed to get 2930.
“We know that in a race one has to win but Ngwenya was not the winner. He stole the election through his shenanigans and he used money to corrupt many people,” said a villager.
“There are many other cases of vote buying such as giving out money etc. What is indisputable is the fact that these unscrupulous politicians want to deceive the electorate into voting for them.”
The source highlighted that some districts they had to destroy the original V11 forms and then they had to write new ones with fake results.
“Originally at Kafushaire District Ngwenya got 18 votes but they destroyed the V11 and forged a new one in which they wrote 118. This happened in quite a number of districts
“This amounts to vote machination and should be condemned. Zimbabweans should be allowed to vote freely for candidates of their choice.”
The total number of people who voted against Ngwenya was more than 8 600.
The source said candidates rejected that daylight robbery and on Tuesday the 28th of March they drafted a petition that was submitted to the ZANU PF Headquarters.
“At the admin district center officials and Ngwenya’s agents insisted that if the other candidates were not happy then let a recount be done.
“The other candidates were not in support of a recount knowing that ballot papers had been stuffed in the ballot boxes during the evening of the voting day during transit and agents of the candidates were no longer in charge of the boxes.
“However a recount was done and as expected more ballot papers had been stuffed and again there was a variation even on the inflated figures that had been captured on the Return Form at the command centre.
“Those results from the recount are the ones that were now submitted to the province and later to the National and no any other candidate agreed to them.
“It’s not only in Gumunyu where similar things happened. The question is surely how can Zanu PF, a revolutionary party of excellence allow such people who have failed to lead or represent people? Why are people’s wishes asuppressed? Why does the party give the opposition an ammunition by allowing avoidable things to happen,” said the source.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that money exchanged hands at the command center and there is an audio in which the presiding officer was confirming that he was offered money though he refused it so that tampering with the votes would happen.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is urged to pronounce itself on whether the conduct of these politicians is proper. These politicians deserve to be disqualified,” said an aggrieved villager.
Efforts to get comment from the MP Ngwenya were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.