…Calls for emergency meeting
…Bhasikiti ready for the challenge
BIKITA – Following Zim PF’s poor performance in the just ended Bikita West by-election which saw their candidate Kudakwashe Gopo losing to Zanu PF ‘s Beauty Chabaya by over 11 000 votes, the party has been left divided over whether they should go ahead and contest in the pending Mwenezi East by-election likely to be held in March.
The Zim PF provincial executive is going to have an emergency meeting to review what happened in Bikita and map the way forward.
Zim PF provincial spokesperson Jeffryson Chitando confirmed that they were going to hold a meeting but he refused to give details of items that will be on the agenda saying the outcome of the Saturday meeting will be announced at a press conference likely to be held soon after the gathering.
“We are going to announce the outcome of the meeting at a press confrence. There will be a lot of issues that are going to be sdiscussed and I am sure we will send our provincial position to the national executive regarding our participation in the by-elections,” said Chitando.
Sources in Zim PF told thois publication that there were members who were pushing the party to withdraw from participating in the pending by-election in Mwenezi.
“This issue of by-elections has divided us. Just like what happened before the Bikita West elections, we were against participating but Makova gave us a false assurance and rushed us into an election. We are very divided now because we still believe that we are not ready for the elections,” said the source.
However, the party secretary for elections Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who is also eyeing Mwenezi East said people were not supposed to compare Zim PF and MDC-T.
“Our position is very clear – we shall contest any election. We are not MDC-T, it is our constitutional mendate to contest the elections, winning or losing is another thing but we must participate. The people who are suffering are looking up to us for redemption and we must be on the ground fighting all the time. We learnt a lot in Bikita West and I am sure we will be stronger in Mwenezi East,” said Bhasikiti.
Bhasikiti said it was sad that Zanu PF used vote buying in Bikita but Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) did not take action against the offenders.
“Under normal circumstances, ZEC should have disqualified that Zanu PF candidate but look, they failed, so what it means is that we should also do vote buying in future,” added Bhasikiti.
Meanwhile, Masvingo provincial coordinator, Retired Colonel Claudius Makova has announced that he is resigning from his post in reaction to the party’s dismal performance in the just-ended Bikita West by-election.
“It’s not new that I said if Gopo loses this election, I will quit. Ask anyone you want. Everyone knows I said it way back. So as I promised, I will leave the influential post because I also have my pride to keep,” Makova said.
He however said he was not quitting active politics.
“Many have misrepresented this move to mean I am quitting active politics and to peddle falsehoods that I am dumping Mujuru. Those are all lies,” he added.
Makova, however, defended the party’s performance in the by-election saying the party did a ‘splendid’ job in light of its relative infancy in the political arena.
He said the odds would have been different had it been a national election because circumstances would have forced the ruling Zanu PF to divide its election machinery.news