Tafadzwa Musarara in checkmate as ballot boxes dissappear at Zanu-PF DCC vote

By Mutsa Makuvaza

BUSINESSMAN Tafadzwa Musarara has taken a commanding lead in the ongoing Zanu-PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections in Mazowe, but faces an uncertain victory as ballot boxes have reportedly disappeared amid indications that the elections coordinator has been instructed “from the top” to ensure that Musarara’s lead by over a thousand votes be narrowed down before the voting ends.

Sources said with 30 out of 35 polling stations in Mazowe having had their results verified and collated, indications are that Musarara has a comfortable 1790 votes against John Mudzonga’s 729 votes. A total of the 2517 ballots had been counted by end of voting on Sunday.

Although a bona fide Zanu-PF member, sources told the Zimbabwe Voice that Musarara is “unwanted” in the ruling party’s structures over allegedly G40 links, but there was no concrete evidence to block his participating in the divisive elections.

A polling agent told this publication that they were under strict instruction from one Simon Steward, said to be the elections the coordinator, to ensure that Musarara does not emerge the winner “by any means”.

This has led to ballot boxes disappearing at at Zungu business Centre, Shutu village in ward 7, the source said on condition of anonymity.

“The issue has been raised with Zanu-PF top bosses, Comrades Ezra Chadzamira and Kindness Paradza, who are overseeing the election as commissioners here at Nzvimbo command centre,” the source said.

“However, the Musarara camp found no joy despite providing evidence of vote tampering and the disappearance of ballots at Zungu.

“One is inclined to conclude that Musarara is just wanted by the people of Mazowe but unwanted by the party’s top hierarchy. They hoped the election would get him rid of as they have no concrete evidence to expel him using the tired G40 label,” the source said.

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The source added that Musarara faced the exact predicament of his friend and business colleague, former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira of Nyanga South, who cannot be fired for lack of evidence but was he wanted by top party bosses in Manicaland province including Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Musarara has clashed countless times with Zanu-PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena, a strong supporter of President Mnangagwa, when Musarara’s Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe appeared before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee which Wadyajena chairs.

The source added that Musarara’s case was not heloped by recent utterances by self-exiled former Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere that G4O remnants in Zanu-PF would prevail in the ongoing DCC elections.

Kasukuwere made the remarks during a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition virtual public debate held under the theme, “Operation Restore Legacy”: Unpacking the “democratic transition” in Zimbabwe held last month.

“The fear of holding by-elections is motivated by the fear of losing. If they are clear and motivated that they are going to win these by-elections, they would have held the elections.

“Even in Zanu PF there are the DCC elections and they fear that the G40 is everywhere and it’s a fact that they (G40) are everywhere. People want change and we cannot continue doing the same things again and again,” said Kasukuwere, a former ruling party bigwig in Mashonaland Central province where Mazowe is located.

President Mnangagwa also recently urged the party’s grassroots to be wary of G40 elements who could use the elections to get back into the party.

“Utterances by both Kasukuwere and the President create unending tension in the party. Instead of healing past factional battle lines, there is the ever present shadow of labelling each other for political expediency and to get rid of otherwise hardworking party stalwarts. The end result is that voter apathy will weigh the party down in future by-elections and even the 2023 harmonized elections,” the source told the Zimbabwe Voice.

Yesterday, the Zanu-PF acting national spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa admitted there was a huge apathy in the elections, but attributed it to mainly women members who he said were too coy too challenge men in the contests.

The party’s women’s league boss Mabel Chinomona also challenged women to rise up and take leadership positions so that women supporters can feel inclined to vote.

Reached for a comment on the alleged disappearing ballots, Steward said he was not in a position to answer to every “whim and cry by unhappy candidates or their sidekicks”. – Zimbabwe Voice

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