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War Veterans Defeated in Zanu PF Primary Elections Say Mnangagwa May Lose Presidential Poll

FILE: Some of the Zanu PF supporters who attended Friday rally addressed by Mr. Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.

Zimbabwe’s war veterans, who lost in the just-ended Zanu PF primary elections, have rejected the outcome of the polls, saying their supporters will not vote for the party’s presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the forthcoming general elections.

Some even threatened to vote for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa if Zimbabwe War Veterans Association leaders Christopher Mutsvangwa and Douglas Mahiya are not among parliamentary candidates in the elections to be held sometime this year.

Mutsvangwa lost to Langton Mutendereki in Norton while Mahiya claims massive electoral fraud in Harare South where Tongai Mnangagwa, believed to be a relative of the president, is said to have beaten him hands down.

The two war veterans now claim that the elections were manipulated by the police allegedly linked to the ousted Generation 40 faction of the ruling party, which wanted former First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband before the Zimbabwe Defence Forces ousted him last November and installed Mnangagwa as the country’s president.

Some Zanu PF supporters backing Mahiya picketed at the ruling party headquarters Thursday demanding a fresh round of internal polls amid allegations of vote rigging in the primary elections.

One of them told reporters that Mnangagwa manipulated the elections by distributing money to polling officers and the electorate before and during the polls.

As a result, he said, “We are not going to vote for him in the forthcoming general elections. We are saying bhora musango (deliberately miss the target) and to make matters worse we will get rid of the father or whatever he is to the president.”

Mutsvangwa also wrote a letter on the same day to the Zanu PF national political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, attacking him for failing to properly conduct the elections.

“This letter is further to my cellphone call of 2nd May 2018 to you Engelbert Rugeje – NPC (National Political Commissar) advising you that I was withdrawing from the polls. I unreservedly reject the result of the just-held Zanu PF party polling in Norton. I also refuse to accept your announcement of Langton Mutendereki as the winner.

“The main reason being the unconstitutional use of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, a state agency as election returning agents. These policemen were principal players in the uninhibited rigging as well as wholesale denial of the act of voting to legions of bona fide party members.”

He said the voters’ register was compiled by some people said to be members of the Generation 40 faction of the ruling party, which is still grieved over the Mugabe’s ouster.

“Of particular note is that fact that the cell register used for polling was illicitly compiled by Constance Shamu to solely further the illegal win of Langton Mutendereke. It is inconceivable that a politically active constituency such as Norton can only render less than 4,000 votes. This patently false picture would spell electoral danger in upcoming national elections. I am busy collating evidence to back up the charges I have submitted.”

Shamu, who is said to be a member of the G40 faction, and Rugeje were not available for comment.