By Criswell Chisango
Karoi, January 24, 2014 – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has endorsed Fortunate Madamombe believed to be a new comer in the ruling party and stepped up its vote buying campaign through donating agricultural inputs ahead of Saturday by-election in Karoi.
Party insiders told Radio VOP that Madamombe has not been an active member and a card holding party member.
“We are surprised how he was selected to stand for the party and we are being forced to work hard to convince people to vote for the party. He is well connected politically,” said one party member who asked not to be named as he is not allowed to speak on behalf of the party.
However, Madamombe denied the allegations saying “I am not a novice in the party and am grateful that I will win these elections.”
Madamombe will contest the Saturday’s council by-elections in Karoi’s Ward 10 against the MDC-T’s Solomon Musekiwa Chiwaya.
The ruling party stepped its vote buying campaign strategy last weekend when provincial chairman and Hurungwe West Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa delivered a truckload of fertiliser to urban residents.
The MDC-T party led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whose candidate Solomon Musekiwa Chiwaya will battle it out with Madamombe accused Zanu PF of disturbing its campaign rally.
The elections are being held following the death of Susan Bhero of Zanu PF. Other by-elections will be held in Harare’s Sunningdale suburb and Zaka in Masvingo.
MDC-T provincial party spokesperson Biggie Haurobi said it was an unwise political decision by the Zanu PF leadership to donate fertilizer during MDC-T campaign rally.
“The Zanu PF leadership is jealousy as they did not allow us to campaign freely for our candidate on Sunday as they made a decision to donate fertiliser that forced people to be attracted there. We did not interfere with their rally the previous day. Why did they donate only in one ward if they are concerned about the plight of the citizens?” asked Haurobi.
Haurobi added that Zanu PF will “manipulate the voting system as there was no voter roll released at the time of writing.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Thursday dispatched the voting materials that will be used during the weekend elections.