‘Mukupe a smuggled candidate’

THE Zanu PF Harare East parliamentary candidate saga that has been raging for about a month began after the party’s national elections directorate added Terrence Mukupe onto the list of candidates for primary elections after the provincial election directorate had disqualified him, Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

Documents in possession of this paper show Mukupe was disqualified at a provincial meeting on April 8, alongside 14 other party members.

The minutes from the meeting held at the provincial headquarters read: “Terrence Mukupe says that he joined Zanu PF in Mufakose in 1996 and that he was elected district youth league chairman in 1997. Although he claims to have held positions at district level, members from within the constituency proved that he was not an active member and not known in the local structures.

“The province therefore disqualifies him.”

The minutes also state that the province was forwarding the curriculum vitae of all the aspiring candidates in two files clearly marked “Qualified” and “Disqualified”. Mukupe’s CV was in the “Disqualified” file.

“Out of the 40 aspiring candidates (in Harare province), after deliberations and considerations of each submission, 26 candidates were recommended as having met the qualification criteria as provided for in the guidelines referred to above,” the minutes read.

“We are hereby submitting to you CVs for each candidate in separate files with one bearing CVs for qualified candidates while the other contains those of disqualified candidates.”

However, Mukupe’s name was found on the list of those who were to participate in the primary elections.

He won the polls after garnering 651 votes while his rival Mavis Gumbo won 369 votes.

The drama started on nomination day when Harare province allowed Gumbo to file her papers at the nomination court after suspending Mukupe.

Mukupe, however, successfully filed an urgent chamber application contesting the province’s rejection of his nomination papers at the last minute.

Last week, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the party backed Mukupe’s candidature after the Harare East saga had threatened to widen fissures in the party. But Zanu PF sources from Harare province said Mukupe’s candidature was imposed at national level after the provincial leadership had disqualified him.

“He is not our (provincial) candidate because we rejected him. The fact that he won the primaries is something else because he was not allowed to contest,” the source said.

“Our senior politburo member Cleveria Chizema will present these minutes to the politburo (expected to meet yesterday) to show how the decision of the whole province was ignored.” — Staff writer.