Zanu PF politburo member Jorum Gumbo, who was in charge of Masvingo District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections held on December 05 – 06, has said a faction allegedly fronted by senior party member Clemence Makwarimba, former national political commissar Retired Lt Gen Engelbert Rugeje and Josaya Hungwe employed violent tactics in a desperate bid to win the elections.
The faction rallied behind Trust Mugabe for the position of Masvingo DCC chairperson but he lost dismally to Tawanda Dube.
The Makwarimbas; including Clemence’s son Phainos, Rugeje and Hungwe are alleged to have been pushing for a rerun but all was in vain as the politburo approved the results of all the seven districts of Masvingo province.
Gumbo told TellZim News that there were some centres in Masvingo and Chiredzi districts that did not vote and he recommended a re-run for those centres only.
“Generally, the elections were free and fair though there were some incidences here and there. There were five centres which failed to vote in Masvingo district and 17 in Chiredzi district.
“Masvingo district was torn between the people who supported Trust Mugabe and those who supported Tawanda Dube for the post of chairperson. It was unfortunate that the Mugabe camp was very violent and at some point I threatened to disqualify them,” said Gumbo.
“The Mugabe team was always at the provincial command centre shouting obscenities and I advised them to leave and go to the people. They chased away a team which had come from Gutu to conduct elections at one polling centre. The Gutu team ran for their lives and left ballot boxes which were later collected by the police and brought to us,” Gumbo added.
In Masvingo, there were petitions written by disgruntled members from Zaka and Masvingo districts who were pushing for a re-run of the election but the politburo, chaired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since shut the doors on any possible re-runs in the province.
When contacted for comment over the alleged violence, Rugeje angrily said TellZim News must get comment from the very people who aligned him to the Mugabe faction.
“Why are you calling me? I am at home with my family. Get comment from the person who gave you that story. You are disturbing me I want to sleep,” said Rugeje when he was contacted for comment around past 7 in the evening.
Due to the disputed results, sources say that there is now a fierce rivalry between the Makwarimba and the Chadzamira factions.
The Makwarimba faction is said to be the one which authored the re-run narrative saying the people were robbed of their right to democratically-elect their leadership.
Phainos, who is provincial deputy political commissar, told TellZim News that there was no factionalism in Masvingo.
He said people were only asking for a chance to participate in free and fair elections.
“All people did was ask for a free and fair elections. Now they are attacking my person and my father for telling them the truth. All of a sudden they want to be more Lacoste than others. We know the history of some of them and they were not there when my father was fighting for Zanu PF,” said Makwarimba.
He added that such transgressions would cost the party come 2023 elections.
“The scariest thing is to go against Chadzamira but he should allow his people to decide. I am afraid this will cost the party come 2023 elections. I am just vocal but I will never plot against President Mnangagwa,” said Makwarimba.