The Standard (Zimbabwe)

CIO, army outfits wreak havoc in Zanu PF primaries


OrGaNisati­ONs linked to the Central intelligen­ce Organisati­on (CiO) and the army are being accused of orchestrat­ing massive rigging in Zanu PF's primary elections that produced a lot of surprises, it has emerged

a number of losing candidates that include ministers and long serving mPs are blaming the Friends associatio­n of Zimbabwe (FaZ) and the Heritage trust for their defeat, appeals lodged with Zanu PF show.

FaZ is said to be run by retired and serving soldiers while Heritage is led by CiO operatives and both outfits supervised the polls held last weekend.

the involvemen­t of the CiO and army has deepened confusion in the ruling party where several parallel structures have emerged to ostensibly bolster President emmerson mnangagwa's re-election bid. according to documents gleaned by The

Standard, senior retired army officer walter tapfumaney­i, a deputy Director General in the Presidents’ office is the overall commander of FaZ.

millicent mombeshora, a director at Heritage in charge of mass mobilisati­on, is alleged to have tried to rig the polls on behalf of her husband, Douglas mombeshora.

“in mhangura, mombeshora supporters wrote the ballot papers on Friday night,” a source said.

“a CiO operative (name supplied) was paid by mombeshora to stuff the ballot boxes with already voted papers.

“He hatched a plan with his wife and a member of FaZ who was given money to ensure that voting was disrupted and certain districts would not vote or that cells disappeare­d.

“Douglas is an ex-soldier so when they knew that the army would be involved in the primary elections, he made sure that his wife is appointed as a director there.”

The Standard heard that FaZ was given a list from the "top" which was kept under the wraps.

“the CiO operatives were the ones tasked with running the election and they were then paid to ensure certain people would win,” a source said.

Zvimba south mP Phillip Chiyangwa is one of the losing Zanu PF candidates not happy with FaZ according to a letter of complaint addressed to Zanu PF commissar mike bimha.

Chiyangwa accused tapfumaney­i, FaZ commander, of rigging the polls in favour of his wife Jessica tapfumaney­i in Zvimba south.

“at numerous polling stations, there are eye witness reports of General tapfumaney­i and his wife arriving and interferin­g with the presiding officers who are members of FaZ by giving them explicit instructio­ns that the election had to be conducted at different polling stations than the ones that had been set by the party,” Chiyangwa wrote in his letter dated march 28.

Chiyangwa said cell registers were doctored to shut out his supporters.

“Numerous cell registers in areas where i have a history of polling high figures were made to mysterious­ly disappear to such an extent that overall, a significan­t number of well-known Zanu PF cadres were unable to vote because their names could not be located in the cell registers,” he said.

“there was also clear electoral fraud in that at numerous polling stations, when voters arrived, their names had been cancelled indicating that some people had already cast a vote on their behalf.

“similarly, instructio­ns were given at those polling stations to have elections abruptly terminated which led to the majority of people who had turned up to vote being unable to vote.”

similar concerns were raised in other provinces.

in midlands, Zanu PF provincial chairperso­n Larry mavima was also not amused by FaZ.

in his letter of complaint, he accused FaZ of campaignin­g for former deputy minister Freddie moyo and Cuthbert mubhame. moyo won the seat. mavima was reportedly later conned by some alleged FaZ members that he had bribed to reverse the election result.

in mashonalan­d east, some party candidates said they were not aware of the origins and nature of FaZ that was running the elections, or where they were getting instructio­ns to ignore cell registers.

in Goromonzi District, some FaZ officials were seen moving around using candidates' vehicles compromisi­ng the outcome of the elections.

in murewa south, FaZ is accused of rigging elections through altering votes.

“For example, a FaZ official would add a digit to a result trebling the votes,” a source said.

“in mutoko east, at one polling station at Domborenhi­vi in mutoko, a FaZ official would be seen allowing voters to get through the window and cast their votes.

“wealthy politician­s in the province reportedly bribed FaZ officials who would rig the elections in their favour.”

a top official in Zanu PF said FaZ was a political player in the recently held primary elections.

"what we witnessed in the Zanu PF primary elections is something we have never witnessed before,” a source said.

“FaZ were also political players. remember most of them are CiO’s recruited to serve a purpose.

“they were the presiding officers and could easily manipulate the election results.”

Zanu PF commissar mike bimha yesterday confirmed that shadowy groups like FaZ assisted in running the primaries.

“the commissari­at was running the election, we were being assisted here and there by our affiliates, organisati­ons which are affiliated to the party, i do not see anything untoward about it,” bimha said.

“People might say what they want. the politburo assessing the whole session was very pleased with the way the elections were conducted.”

mnangagwa last week said re-runs would be held in areas where there was political violence among other malpractic­es.

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