Zanu-PF Mt Darwin primaries on today

edna madzongwe

Cde Edna Madzongwe

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Kuda Bwititi and  Tendai Chara in Mt Darwin
\nZANU-PF has deployed a high-powered team led by Politburo and Central Committee members Cdes Edna Madzongwe and Priscilla Mupfumira to monitor today’s primary elections to elect a candidate who will represent the ruling party in the Mt Darwin West House of Assembly by-election.

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Four candidates, Cdes Khumbulani Banda, Godfrey Tsenengano, Caleb Karima and Barnwell Serengwe will battle it out to replace Dr Joice Mujuru, who lost her seat as per constitutional dictates when she was sworn into the office of State Vice-President in 2013.

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Dr Mujuru has since been sacked as VP for her leading role in a plot to oust and/or assasinate President Mugabe.

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She did not seek to contest the by-election, and her CV was in any case rejected for a place on the party’s Central Committee last year.

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Cde Mupfumira — the chief returning officer and Zanu-PF secretary for environment and tourism − told this paper yesterday that all was set for the primary elections. The results are expected today.

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“Everything is course for the polling to start at 7am tomorrow (today). We have done the deployment of polling officers as well as members as of the police who will oversee the elections,” Cde Mupfumira said. “We have 46 polling stations in 11 wards in the constituency. We have also printed 27 500 ballot papers to ensure that everyone will be able to vote.” Cde Mupfumira said counting of ballots would be done at polling stations and results ferried to the command centre at Tsure Rural District Council in Dotito.

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‘‘Each of the 46 polling stations will be manned by a Central Committee member with assistance from war veterans, war collaborators and police officers.”

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Previous media reports had stated that the polls were set to be conducted yesterday but party officials said this was a miscommunication.
\nSenate President Cde Edna Madzongwe, who is the deputy returning officer, said police officers would ensure voting was conducted in a free and fair manner. “The police officers are going to do their work diligently. We have briefed them on what to do and we are assured that there will not be any due influence that will affect the voting process,” she said. Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central chair Cde Dickson Mafios said it was all systems go for the primary elections.

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“As you have seen we have done deployment for the returning officers. So everything is set for tomorrow (today). We are expecting a free and fair election,” he said. President Mugabe proclaimed by elections for Mt Darwin West and Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe constituencies in a Government gazette, setting January 29 as the Nomination Court sitting date and March 27 as the by-election date.

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Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe constituency became vacant when Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was last December elevated to the post of State VP.