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Zanu PF defy COVID-19, hold elections to replace Gwaradzimba

BY KENNETH NYANGANI ZANU PF yesterday claimed that all COVID-19 protocols were followed by the party when it conducted its elections to fill in the senatorial seat which was left vacant after the death of Minister of State for Manicaland province, Ellen Gwaradzimba, who succumbed to the coronavirus recently. The elections were held on Saturday in Mutare and won resoundingly by the Zanu PF provincial vice-chairperson, Dorothy Mabika, who is a top ally of Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, government through the Health minister and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga suspended by-elections to fill in vacant seats left by MDC Alliance members of Parliament and councillors who were recalled by the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora. However, the ruling Zanu PF party has continued holding elections, including the district co-ordination committee (DCC) polls a few months ago. During the weekend election in Mutare Mabika defeated five other candidates including Getrude Mutandi, who is a top ally of Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri.  Mabika garnered 66 votes, while Mutandi trailed on second position with 39 votes. Other losing candidates were Manicaland women’s league chairperson Happiness Nyakuedzwa, former MP Irene Zindi, Judith Mawire and Sheila Mutsenhu. Madiro and Muchinguri both claim to control the Zanu PF Manicaland province.  During the DCC elections, the two political bigwigs fought fiercely. Zanu PF Manicaland political commissar Gift Kagweda said the process was done in adherence to all COVID-19 protocols. “The election went on very well and we adhered to the World Health Organisation COVID-19 precautionary measures. I can confirm that Dorothy Mabika won the election,”Kagweda said. Zanu PF will now forward her name to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as required by the country’s Constitution. Party acting spokesperson and politburo member, Patrick Chinamasa and Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa presided over the weekend election. Follow Kenneth on Twitter @KennethNyangan1

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