MEMBERS of President Robert Mugabe’s Presidential Guard yesterday allegedly chased away Zanu PF supporters from Zvimba East who had besieged the part
y headquarters in Harare to protest the alleged imposition of Patrick Zhuwao as the candidate for the constituency.
The supporters burst into songs denouncing the party’s elections directorate soon after Mugabe arrived at the headquarters, prompting the soldiers into action.
Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew, was allegedly imposed by the politburo following the rejection of Francis Mukwangawira’s candidacy.
“A group of people in Zanu PF regalia were chased away from the party’s premises moments after the president’s arrival,” said one on-looker. “This must have been the same people that were singing revolutionary songs denouncing Zhuwao at the party’s offices yesterday (Wednesday).”
Party insiders have confirmed that Mugabe did not address the party supporters from the constituency who had been coming to the Zanu PF headquarters since Tuesday.
Moments after the incident, this reporter witnessed more than 20 people clad in party regalia running away from the party headquarters. Efforts to interview the fleeing supporters were fruitless.
Earlier on Wednesday, party officials from Sally Mugabe district submitted a petition objecting to the imposition of Zhuwao.
The Zimbabwe Independent is in possession of a letter addressed to the national commissar and elections directorate chairman, Elliot Manyika.
“We strongly object to the candidature of Patrick Zhuwao as our party candidate,” reads the letter. “Please be assured that we will not give him support for another term to go and snooze. We strongly feel robbed of our freedom of choice to choose, as the president indicated that whoever enters office must enter on merit not totem (sic)”.
Manyika accused the supporters of being “used by enemies of the party”.
Mukwangawira was told by Manyika to stand for council elections.
He is the current councillor for Ward 35 in the Mashonaland West constituency.
Similar protests were held last week over the party’s criteria for choosing election candidates. Protests were made against senior party heavyweights in Mashonaland Central. Bindura town mayor, Martin Dinha, Garikai Msika and a senior Reserve Bank official, Fortune Chasi, were disqualified from contesting in the House of Assembly primaries.
This year’s elections have seen clashes between veteran politicians and young turks in Zanu PF. The opposition MDC (Tsvangirai faction) is also facing intra-party squabbles over the selection of candidates in primary elections.