Webster Shamu unwittingly exposes police

ZANU PF national commissar Webster Shamu has unwittingly exposed the role of the police in the controversial and bitterly contested provincial elections in a letter he wrote to the new Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Luke Mushore.

By Owen Gagare

The letter, dated December 6, 2013, which is now circulating widely in Zanu PF’s national and provincial structures, confirms revelations by Zimbabwe Independent last week.

The letter confirms the elections were run by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

The police, whose duty is to maintain law and order, is still in control of the election material, suggesting that the security sector is strongly involved in Zanu PF and electoral politics.

In the letter, copied to Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo and secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Shamu informs Mushore that the police had recounted ballot papers for the post of provincial youth chairperson which were being contested by Dugmore Chimukoko, who had lost to Godfrey Tsenengamu. Chimukoko was declared the winner after the recount.

“Complaints reaching the Commissariat Department Headquarters indicate that the results for the Youth Chairperson elections held on November 9 2013 are being contested by the losing candidate Cde Dugmore Chimukoko,” reads the letter. “Subsequent investigations by the Zimbabwe Republic Police who were involved in the recording of results have admitted that there was a mix-up in the recording which resulted in Chimukoko suffering a prejudice of 330 votes in Muzarabani South.

“In Mt Darwin West, the other contestant Godfrey Tenengamu garnered 251 votes which was erroneously recorded as 857.Verification of figures by police has revealed that in actual fact, Chimukoko garnered 3 838 votes while Tsenengamu got 3 516 votes. This result makes Chimukoko the winner of the election.”

Zanu PF elections are supposed to be run by the commissariat department.

The involvement of the police in the election has become a major talking point in the divided Zanu PF. Members of the faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are convinced ZRP Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri is fighting in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s corner and insist the use of the police was meant to ensure her faction controls the electoral process, suggesting manipulation and rigging.

The faction controlled by Mujuru won nine of the 10 provinces in the provincial elections. In most provinces, the police carried ballot papers, conducted the voting, counted votes and relayed results to the party’s national elections directorate.

Some of the losing candidates allege there were a number of irregularities such as vote-rigging and a shambolic voters’ roll that disenfranchised thousands of voters.

Ironically, these are some of the same complaints the opposition levelled against Zanu PF in the July 31 polls which controversially retained President Robert Mugabe in power. Police spokesperson chief superitendent Paul Nyathi refused to comment on the matter saying the letter was not addressed to the police and therefore it would be unprofessional to comment.