Zanu PF picks by-election candidates ahead of Nomination Court sitting as country is stuck in election mode

ZANU PF has officially announced candidates that will contest in February 2024 by-elections in Chegutu West and Zvimba East constituencies.

The two parliamentary seats became vacant following the recall of Eddie Chivero and Oliver Mutasa by opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) self-styled interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu.

In a letter dated December 16, 2023, Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha said following the primary polls, Wellington Shakemore Timburwa and Kudakwashe Munhanzva will represent the party in Chegutu West and Zvimba East, respectively.

“This letter serves to notify that following their victory in the primary elections, the under-listed candidates shall represent the party on the 3 February 2024 by-elections, (a) Chegutu West constituency Wellington Shakemore Timburwa, (b) Zvimba East constituency Kudakwashe Munanzva,” wrote Bimha to Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, the party’s Mashonaland West chairman.

The Nomination Court sits on December 18 to receive papers from potential candidates.

“In view of the above please facilitate the filing of Nomination Court papers and to start preparations for the by-election campaigns.”

The latest development puts to rest speculation that former Chegutu West Member of Parliament (MP), Dexter Nduna would challenge his disqualification to stand as party representative.

Nduna had his quest for another chance as a parliamentarian dashed after Zanu PF disqualified him from contesting the primary election.

Mliswa-Chikoka recently presided over a potentially explosive meeting at Rukawo Hotel, where tempers flared following the announcement of Nduna’s disqualification.

The ex-Chegutu West MP had expressed optimism to reverse the adverse decision reportedly made by the Politburo. The reasons for his disqualification remain unknown.

Timburwa, Brian Chinyama and Timothy Masviba faced off in last week’s primaries while Last Farai Chigavazira pulled out of the race under unclear circumstances.

Former Zvimba East legislator, Francis Mukwangwarirwa, who narrowly lost the predominantly rural constituency in just-ended August 23 and 24 harmonised elections, contested primaries against Gibson Chihaka, Antony Magama Dube and Munanzva.

In Chinhoyi Ward 9, Edward Besu won the right to represent the party, making a lightweight challenge from Job Mavata.

In Chinhoyi Ward 10, Godfrey Muzhandamuri shrugged off contests from Angeline Rupere, West Chinembiri and Elias Mhako to win the right to represent the revolutionary party. The ward seat became vacant following the recall of CCC’s Lovemore Kurwakumire.

Viola Moyo won the primary election in Ward 12 beating Zanu PF Youth League officials Ketty Chanetsa, Patrick Nyamayaro and Innocent Simba Chakaodza. The ward fell vacant following the recall of former Chinhoyi mayor Dyke Makumbi.

Mliswa-Chikoka at the weekend told the internal polls were free and fair, despite disturbances caused by rains.

“There were issues of rains here and there but this didn’t stop people from going to vote for their preferred candidates.

“This clearly shows that the democratic process is what we followed. Everyone is happy with the candidates who have energised the electorate,” said Mliswa-Chikoka.



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