MUCH younger politicians in Zanu PF defeated their veterans in Mashonaland East province at the weekend during the party’s primary elections ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
The ruling party yesterday announced the results for National Assembly, but is yet to announce those for local authority. Nomination Court will sit on Wednesday for the 28 parliamentary and 119 council seats nationwide.
In Murewa South and Marondera Central constituencies, young politicians outsmarted the traditional contestants.
In Marondera Central, educationist and politician Cleopas Kundiona was defeated by Ignatius Mateveke. Kundiona is also a provincial executive member.
In Murewa South, perennial contestants Josphat Tanga and Michael Chifamba were defeated by a youthful businessman.
In Marondera East, ex-top cop Jeremiah Chiwetu won resoundingly against six other contestants.
The primary elections in Marondera were, however, not short on controversy after Kundiona’s name was missing from the ballot papers and had to be added using a pen.
Violence erupted in some wards as Kundiona’s supporters accused party leaders of rigging on behalf of Mateveke.
Speaking at the press briefing in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha said those who were elected to represent the party should work hard and represent the party well.
“We are saying the elections that we have just finished are our own internal process to determine who can represent the party in the impending elections, therefore real work starts now.
“Our candidates have to pull up their socks. They should work with the leadership in their various constituencies, administrative districts, provinces to ensure that we succeed as a party,” said Bimha.
“They are representing the party. They are not contesting as individuals, they are being voted into positions on the Zanu PF ticket, therefore we need to win as a party, not as individuals.
“They have to work hard; they have to respect the leadership in their areas to ensure that we succeed as a party in the coming by-elections,” he said.
There was generally a massive voter turnout across all the provinces and Bimha said this was a clear indicator of the party’s grassroots popularity and a precursor of what to expect in the March by-elections.
The list of winners in the local authorities will be availed in due course.