By A Correspondent- Zanu PF has failed to release official results for the provincial elections held on Tuesday amid fears the announcement would further destabilise the already fractured party ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
Party sources yesterday said the unconfirmed results were indicating that a faction linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sharing control of the 10 provinces with one aligned to Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, some of whose candidates were controversially disqualified from the race.
Party commissar Mike Bimha yesterday said the results would be announced when they are ready.
“It (releasing of results) will depend on whether we have received all the results. We are still waiting for some results which are still outstanding,” he said.
“Definitely tomorrow morning (today), we are hopeful that we would have received all of them because some of the results were collated today (yesterday).
“There were challenges because of the rains and some areas were not accessible, so we have to wait for everything to be in position. We cannot announce any results when they are not all available,” he said.
However, party supporters said delays in announcing the election results had caused unnecessary anxiety.
“The delays have caused unnecessary anxiety because so many groups and social media platforms are releasing results while we are anxiously waiting for word from headquarters in Harare,” said a senior party executive who declined to be named.
Bimha on Tuesday released a statement indicating that all results would be released from the Zanu PF national headquarters in Harare after collation and verification.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that Mary Mliswa-Chikoka had trounced her three rivals for the Mashonaland West provincial chairmanship to become the first woman to lead the ruling party in a province.
She was battling it out with Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Kindness Paradza, former provincial youth chairman Vengai Musengi and ex-Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer Happison
Acting chairperson Abia Mujeri reportedly withdrew from the race after facing resource challenges, with sources indicating that he lost the vehicle allocated to him as acting provincial leader on the eve of the polls.
Other candidates who were reported to have won the chairmanship include Robison Mavhenyengwa (Masvingo), Kazembe Kazembe (Mashonaland Central), Jabulani Sibanda (Bulawayo), Mangaliso Ndhlovu (Matabeleland South), Godwills Masimirembwa (Harare), Albert Nyakuedzwa (Manicaland) and Richard Moyo (Matabeleland North).
Mnangagwa’s alleged preferred candidate Larry Mavhima was elected unopposed in the Midlands province amid allegations that he was imposed by the President to avoid widening divisions and possible heavy loss in his home province.
In Mashonaland East, party sources claimed that Ozias Bvute, who had covered ground in the province, was removed from the list of candidates a day before the polls because he belonged to a faction linked to Chiwenga.
Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe is reported to have snatched the provincial chairmanship in Mashonaland East.
Other party heavyweights who fell by the wayside in the polls include Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira, Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro (Manicaland) and Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo (Mashonaland West) who contested in the basket system while angling for the provincial vice-chairperson’s post.-Newsday