Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fist fight over Mukupe’s alleged rigging

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VIOLENCE broke outside the New Government Complex in Harare yesterday when Zanu PF youths aligned to Finance deputy minister Terence Mukupe clashed with students from various tertiary institutions who had gathered at the minister’s office demanding their dues for supporting his candidature in the ruling party primary elections held last month.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ ALBERT MASAKA
The students, drawn from University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Open University and Harare Polytechnic College, claimed Mukupe had promised to pay them $20 each for voting him in to win the Zanu PF ticket for Harare East constituency.
The demonstrations had been organised by the Zimbabwe College Students’ Union (Zicosu).
Zicosu president and Zanu PF Greendale youth leader, Denzel Elijah Romol, who led the demonstration, said during the run-up to the Zanu PF primary elections, he was approached by Mukupe, who wanted a database of 600 students.
Romol said the 600 students were drafted into the Zanu PF cell registers and we asked to participate in the primary elections, with the promise of a payout from Mukupe.
“Initially, he wanted to rig with only 200 people, but he then said ‘Mavis [Gumbo] akabata ground [has more people on the ground]’. So he told us to give him more
. . . and we delivered 400 more.
“The remaining 500 students together with the 100 registered in the biometric voters’ roll [BVR] and were then smuggled into the Zanu PF cell sheets with the help of Zanu PF district chairperson for Greendale district [Eunice] Mataruse.
“I gave him a database of 600 students . . . and he gave me 1 000 Harare East addresses, so we were supposed to register them for BVR . . . But we failed to register all the 600, we registered only 100.
“So the 500 were together with the 100 were smuggled in the Zanu PF cell sheets . . . with Mukupe saying he would get help from Zanu PF Greendale district chairperson Mataruse,” Romol said.
He added that the plan was to remove all bona fide Zanu PF members and replace them with the students as part of the rigging process to guarantee a Mukupe win.
Romol provided the databases of the students and the Harare East addresses to NewsDay.
The students were promised by Mukupe $20 each, a driver’s licence and internships to rig the elections in Harare East constituency.
Romol said they were assured by Mukupe that what they were doing was sanctioned by Zanu PF.
“He told us though it is rigging, we would be protected because it’s been sanctioned by Zanu PF, that he must not lose the election since he will soon be the Finance minister,” he said.
“They were promised $20 each, driver’s licences and attachments, but he has refused to pay, saying that he checked and found out that only a few of the students actually went on to vote.”
Mukupe secured the Harare East parliamentary seat under the Zanu PF ticket through a resounding victory in the party’s primary elections against main rival Gumbo.
Mukupe declined to comment on the matter yesterday, while Mataruse professed ignorance over the issue.
“I have no comment okay, good-bye,” Mukupe curtly said.
Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said her party does not condone rigging.
“This is not true that Zanu PF condones rigging of elections. The youths should air their grievances through proper party channels for investigations to be made.
However, if this is true that they both rigged the elections, they are both wrong.”