Rifts emerge in Zim­babwe Peo­ple First over by-elec­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Wal­ter Mswazie Masvingo Cor­re­spon­dent

RIFTS have emerged in for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Dr Joice Mu­juru’s Zim­babwe Peo­ple First in Masvingo over the im­pend­ing Bikita West by-elec­tion.

It has emerged that while se­nior mem­bers like for­mer Zanu-PF stal­wart Mr Dzika­mai Mavhaire and the party’s provin­cial spokesper­son Re­tired Colonel Kudzai Mbudzi are against tak­ing part, an­other fac­tion led by the party’s found­ing provin­cial chair­man Re­tired Col Claudius Makova has al­ready nom­i­nated Mr Ku­dak­washe Gopo to stand.

The seat fell va­cant fol­low­ing the in­car­cer­a­tion of Mun­yaradzi Kereke on rape charges. He was sen­tenced to 10 years for rap­ing a 14-year-old girl at gun point.

Those who are in Mr Mavhaire’s cor­ner ar­gue that it was not yet time for the party to take part in any elec­tions as they, and other op­po­si­tion par­ties, are de­mand­ing so-called elec­toral re­forms.

ZimPF spokesper­son Jeal­ousy Mawarire said the party has not yet come up with a res­o­lu­tion on the by-elec­tion whose date is yet to be gazetted.

Rtd Col Mbudzi said the party’s provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive was not aware of the move taken by Rtd Col Makova on Mr Gopo’s can­di­da­ture.

“The de­ci­sion to con­test in the Bikita West by-elec­tion was reached against the will of the peo­ple that is sup­ported by Masvingo ex­ec­u­tive. I’m ac­tu­ally not of­fi­cially aware of the can­di­date hav­ing been cho­sen to rep­re­sent the party. We’re against con­test­ing any elec­tions for now as agreed by all op­po­si­tion par­ties in the coun­try un­der the Na­tional Elec­toral Re­form Agenda (Nera). Makova and com­pany bull­dozed their way and came out with that de­ci­sion but we do not sup­port it,” said Rtd Col Mbudzi.

Rtd Col Makova con­firmed that they have nom­i­nated a can­di­date to stand for the party in the forth­com­ing by-elec­tion. He said what they did was above board.

“We fol­lowed the party’s po­si­tion. It was not a one-man band as I didn’t de­cide on my own. I led the process but the truth is I do have the bless­ing of the party. We’ve since nom­i­nated a can­di­date and there’s no more go­ing back. There are peo­ple who just want to make noise for noth­ing. I know that there are such peo­ple but what I know is that we’re con­test­ing the by-elec­tion in Bikita West,” said Rtd Col Makova, a for­mer MP for the con­stituency dur­ing his Zanu-PF days. — @wal­terbm­swazie2.

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