Intelligence chiefs have reportedly informed President Emmerson Mnangagwa about “a massive rigging plot” in the party’s Mashonaland Central provincial chairmanship election.
Reports suggest Collen Mharadzano, a senior elections officer, denied intelligence officers entry into the ICT room where results collation was being done.
NewZimbabwe reports that Mharadzano, allegedly received US$25 000 from Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe to turn figures for him after his rival Tafadzwa Musarara raced ahead of him.
This resulted in a scuffle as the security agents, comprising of members of the Central Intelligence Organisation and the Zimbabwe Military Intelligence confronted him over the decision.
That is when he claimed he had been instructed to do so by Mnangagwa. A source said:
Mharadzano tried to deny national security officers from entering the ICT room where results are being collated. The room is based at the Zanu PF provincial headquarters in Bindura.
Upon being quizzed on why he has done that, Mharadzano claimed he had been personally instructed by President Mnangagwa. However, upon investigations, and checks with their bosses, it was discovered that this was a lie and President Mnangagwa has been briefed about it. He received US$25 000 from Kazembe to turn results for him.
This comes after the ruling party’s secretary for security, Lovemore Matuke, had candidates in the provincial coordinating committee (PCC) election against cheating and violence, saying those found guilty will be expelled.
The party is on a restructuring exercise ahead of the 2023 elections. It is electing provincial chairpersons of the main wing, women’s league and the youth in all the 10 provinces.
Reports of rigging come after party officials have argued that the intra-party elections had demonstrated that ZANU PF is a democratic political party.
The governing party has in the past been accused of manipulating electoral processes with the help of state institutions including the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the army.