RETIRED Colonel Mutero Masanganise, who pulled out of Zanu PF’s Masvingo provincial chair elections a fortnight ago, is waiting for the party’s politburo to address the grievances he expressed through a letter he wrote to national secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo before he can decide on his next move.
By Hazel Ndebele
Masanganise wrote a letter to Chombo a few days before the elections on May 2, arguing that complaints made against former acting chair for the province Joram Gumbo remain unresolved and therefore compromising the elections.
The elections saw Ezra Chadzamira running in a one-man race. Chadzamira retained the Zanu-PF chairmanship with 29 543 votes, while Masanganise polled 1 080 votes despite pulling out.
Chadzamira was suspended as chairman early last year, but the suspension was lifted by the politburo in December.
In a telephone interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week, Masanganise said he is anticipating that the politburo will address the issues he raised so that he can decide on his next move.
“I do not rush to make a decision on whether I will ask for a re-run or not. I will wait to hear what would be said in the politburo and I believe that the issues will be addressed,” said Masanganise.
“Politburo is going to give me the guidelines of what action I will have to take.”
In the letter written to Chombo, Masanganise said the province was still awaiting the appointment of an acting provincial chair or an interim provincial executive by President Robert Mugabe.
According to the letter to Chombo, the person appointed by Mugabe was supposed to deal with irregularities before the election re-run could be held. However, that was not done.
“To date, no formal announcement of the above-mentioned appointment has been made known to the party structures in Masvingo province. Accordingly, our complaints remain unresolved,” Masanganise said.
He also charged in the letter that Gumbo was supportive of Chadzamira and was re-appointed as acting chair of Masvingo province to ensure that the former chair is re-elected.
Masanganise was part of those who drafted the report against the Masvingo provincial chairmanship elections held at the beginning of April.
“In that report, we detailed a number of irregularities that occurred before and during those elections.
“We also highlighted the biased conduct and partisanship of the then acting chairman and elections’ retaining officer, Cde Joram Gumbo,” said Masanganise in his letter to Chombo.
“We made serious complaints against Gumbo, thus he is therefore compromised and conflicted to lead this process. He therefore cannot be allowed to gatecrash and cause more confusion to an already volatile political environment in Masvingo province.
“Accordingly and in light of the above, I wish to put it on record that I have not offered myself as a candidate for these purported new elections pencilled for the May 6.
“The use of my name as a candidate is therefore mischievous, illegal and scandalous.”
Masanganise said his opponents, mainly consisting of Zanu PF members aligned to Vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction, had intensified their activities by further illegally compromising party structures. He claimed that this was being done through the use of military personnel who, according to Masanganise, were intimidating party members in rural constituencies.
The elections were presided over by Matabeleland North minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cain Mathema.