At least one policeman was reportedly injured in a scuffle between Zimbabwe’s thousands of Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) supporters and riot police during the ruling party’s primary election on Sunday.
The incident happened at the ruling ZANU–PF’s district HQ offices in Kwekwe following demonstrations against suspected corruption and bribery allegations against election presiding team led by one Rtd Col Dr Kahuni and party’ provincial vice chairperson, Robert Nyathi.
Several vehicles parked inside the district HQ yard were damaged during the disturbance.
The protests started after the Kwekwe Central Constituency structures rejected the use of ZEC’ voters roll in the poll. Several voters accused National Commissar, Victor Matemedanda, and the election presiding team of corruption after he ordered the use of 2018 elections voters roll which many say favoured Kandros Mugabe.
Mugabe, a church bishop, lost the party’s Kwekwe Central parliamentary election in 2018.
The 47-year-old is contesting against Energy Ncube, 26, popularly known as Dalla, for the parliamentary position left vacant following the death of Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo.
Party supporters demanded the use of cell registers only, while Rtd Col Kahuni and his presiding team refused to budge to the demands leading to the demonstration.
Police were said to have fired live rounds and threw tear-gas canisters at demonstrators before they were overpowered by angry party supporters.
Matemedanda directed the party leadership in Midlands Province to use the 2018 elections voters roll on September 30.
In a memo by one Dr Davison Gomo, the department of Commissariat said “We write to advise that party members wishing to vote or to be voted in the primary by-election should have their names appear in the 2018 Constituency voters roll.
“We are aware that the temptation to bus in people from outside the constituency is a high possibility and we are keen and committed to ensuring that the primary by-election reflects the will of the people”, read the memo.
Zanu PF provincial chairperson, Engineer Daniel Mckenzie Ncube admitted that the election could not take off after the party was forced to abandon the process due to a number of challenges chief among them the sharmbolic 2018 elections voters roll.
“I can confirm that we have called off the Kwekwe primary election until further notice.
“The election faced a lot of challenges and one of them was the use of 2018 elections voters roll. It came to our attention that a lot of party members who voted in 2018, were found not to be on the same voters roll. The same was with party cell registers and this forced us to cancel the election”, said Ncube.