Some ZANU PF supporters in Manicaland province have threatened to employ the “Bhora Musango” strategy in the 2023 elections by voting for MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in protest over alleged rigging in last month’s provincial elections.
Bhora Musango was a clandestine campaign by some ZANU PF leaders in the run-up to the 2008 harmonised elections against voting for the party’s presidential candidate Robert Mugabe.
ZANU PF conducted provincial elections on 28 December amid reports of vote-buying, violence, and massive rigging in most districts.
Preliminary results released by ZANU PF’s national political commissar, Mike Bimha showed that in Manicaland, Mike Madiro retained the provincial chairmanship while Happiness Nyakuedzwa won in the women’s league and Stanely Sakupwanya in the youth league.
However, NewZimbabwe.com reported sources in ZANU PF as saying Nyakuedzwa won the election, but the poll was rigged in favour of Madiro.
According to the preliminary results, Madiro polled 16 263 votes against Nyakuedwa’s 14 748. One insider said:
We are going to implement the ‘Bhora Musango strategy’ ahead of the 2023 presidential elections because these internal elections were not legitimately conducted.
In Makoni, the polls were delayed as the vehicle that was supposed to ferry the ballot papers arrived without them. Election coordinators claimed there was a mix-up.
However, we suspect it was a deliberate move to influence the outcome. We cannot remain docile as our internal elections now lack transparency.
Another supporter said it was strange that people who do not have support across the province won in the polls. Said the supporter:
It is worrisome and disheartening that some candidates who won according to preliminary results did not have support across the province.
How can someone win with a wide margin yet have lost support in the party? If the party’s leadership fails to address these legacy issues, we will easily change the goalposts in 2023 and vote for Chamisa.
An unnamed war veteran opined that delaying announcing the results by 72 hours raises questions on the integrity of the elections. He said:
Just imagine, we had to wait for three days for the results to be announced. After the results were announced, the leadership still claimed there is no winner or loser.
This shows that something fishy is happening and we will not condone this.