Zanu-PF members in the Norton constituency have appealed to the party’s national commissariat seeking a re-run of primary elections held on Sunday citing gross irregularities and interference by members of the police.

The call for the re-run comes in the wake of reports that former first lady Mrs Grace Mugabe was funding the G40 machinery in Norton to influence the outcome allegedly through the Shamu family.

 The elections pitted Cdes Chris Mutsvangwa, Langton Mutendereki and Anselam Madzudzo.

Cde Mutendereki polled 1 926 votes against Cde Chris Mutsvangwa’s 1 806 votes while Cde Madzudzo got 255 votes.

Chief among the irregularities cited by Central Committee members and provincial members from Mashonaland West was the use of unverified cell registers, vote buying and police interference.

It is alleged some of the people who voted were not Zanu-PF members as the police allowed them to vote using bio metric voter registration slips.

After the voting process, Zanu-PF members alleged that the police refused to count and post the results at polling stations but took them to other centres without election agents of the contesting candidates.

Mrs Constance Shamu, who lost the ticket to represent Zanu-PF in the women’s quota, was also fingered in the shambolic polls.

It is alleged that Mrs Shamu tampered with the party’s commissariat stamp and created a parallel register that omitted names of several party members.

In an interview yesterday, Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Bybit Tsomondo said: “We are appealing for a re-run of the Norton primary elections.

I am concerned with what transpired on the voting days and how Cde Mutsvangwa was treated in this election. The first issue that I want to raise is the police interference in our internal polls. The role of the police when there is a gathering is to maintain peace and order but what we saw in Norton was active participation of the police force in our elections.

“They (police) were active participants in the whole process and they were not listening to all the concerns that we raised. I can say with no doubt that money exchanged hands to influence the voting process. I also want to question the role that Mrs Shamu played in the Norton elections.”

Cde Tsomondo said Mrs Shamu caused a lot of confusion in Norton that impacted on the credibility of the polls.

Zanu-PF Mashonaland West secretary for Science and Technology Cde Nyasha Sibiya also called for the re-run of primary elections.

He said the polls failed to pass the credibility test as set out in the party’s rules and regulations.

“To us this election was not credible,” he said.

“Presiding officers were siding with other candidates by allowing them to roam around in the polling stations while others were being denied that opportunity. The cell registers were tampered with and several names of party members were missing in the registers that were used on the voting day. We are appealing for a re-run and before the polls are conducted, we want our structures to be re-organised to reflect the real and genuine party membership in Norton.

Temba Mliswa

“We also wondered how certain candidates who failed to meet the party’s criteria were allowed to contest. For instance Cde Mutendereki has only two years in the party yet the circular from commissariat was clear that all candidates for House of Assembly should have served the party for five years and above.”

He said the Norton MP Mr Temba Mliswa’s was working in cahoots with the G40 to frustrate genuine Zanu-PF members.

Cde Sibiya said Mr Mliswa wanted to face a weak opponent in the general elections and that justified his involvement in the scam.