ZANU PF Goes After ZANU Members Who Voted Chamisa
5 September 2023
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ZANU PF Initiates Crackdown on Party Members Accused of Voting for Chamisa

The ruling ZANU PF party has reportedly launched a wide-ranging operation to identify and punish party members who allegedly voted against President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa in the just ended 2023 elections. The targeted are accused of “kicking the ball into the bush,” following revelations that some party members received more votes than Mnangagwa himself during the August 23 and 24 elections.

According to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) figures, Mnangagwa garnered fewer votes than certain ZANU PF National Assembly candidates, with a discrepancy of 144,680 votes. These figures have sparked concerns within the party leadership, leading to the witch-hunt.

In a departure from party directives, several parliamentary and council candidates surpassed Mnangagwa’s vote tally, winning in constituencies where ZANU PF was instructed not to secure more votes than the President-elect. The discrepancy between Mnangagwa’s victories in 127 constituencies and ZANU PF’s triumph in 136 has ignited internal strife.

One alleged victim of this crackdown is Robert Nyebudzo, a ZANU PF official from Manicaland, who has been charged with “bhora musango.” This term, which gained prominence in the 2008 elections, refers to a strategy where ZANU PF supporters voted for local party candidates while intentionally voting against the party’s presidential candidate, the late Robert Mugabe.

Nyebudzo’s arrest follows the defeat of Enock Porusingazi by Clifford Hlatshwayo of CCC in Chipinge South. Porusingazi initially lost the party’s primary elections to Nyemudzo, who was subsequently disqualified. However, Porusingazi assumed the party candidacy and allegedly won with the support of the “bhora musango” strategy.

In a statement from the ZANU PF Manicaland leadership, Nyemudzo has been summoned for a disciplinary hearing over accusations of sabotaging the party. The letter accuses him of funding the “bhora musango” tactic in Chipinge South, celebrating ZANU PF’s loss.

Tawanda Mukodza, ZANU PF Manicaland provincial chairperson, emphasized the importance of discipline within the party and stated that the purge aimed to eliminate those who undermined Mnangagwa during the elections.

The situation has drawn analysis from experts, with some suggesting that Mnangagwa’s less-than-impressive performance in terms of votes compared to his party candidates indicated his limited popularity within the party. Analysts pointed to factional disputes, imposed candidates, and the economic crisis as potential factors contributing to the party’s internal divisions and Mnangagwa’s unpopularity.

As tensions rise and the internal struggle within ZANU PF continues to unfold, the future of the party remains uncertain, leaving observers and citizens alike to await further developments.- Agencies