Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mutsvangwa in vote-buying storm

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special adviser and aspiring Norton candidate, Christopher Mutsvangwa has written to at least five embassies seeking donations, which he said were meant for community social responsibility programmes, but the timing of the requests has raised eyebrows.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
In a letter that went viral on social media, Mutsvangwa was said to have written to the Chinese embassy, asking for various items.
He requested 20 beasts and other relish, 30 tonnes of mealie-meal, 15 tonnes of rice, $10 000 food vouchers at local supermarket, 7 500 litres fuel and 100 bicycles for community outreach programmes.
“I also ask for your help to get more support for Norton from local Chinese business community (sic),” he wrote in the undated correspondence.
“Specifically, I will appreciate if the Huawei, through both TelOne and NetOne, can help instal internet points of presence in Norton (sic).
“Also, if Jianxi International can focus on Norton and Chegutu in the programme of 500 boreholes offered by President Xi Jinping to President ED Mnangagwa in the recent visit to China (sic).
Finally, SynoHydro and ZTE can assist with solar tower lights to improve the night safety of Norton residents.”
Mutsvangwa is due to participate in a primary election rerun against Langton Mutendereki in Zanu PF’s internal polls.
The war veterans’ leader lost in the first round of voting, but raised a slew of allegations leading to the nullification of the election result.
But Mutsvangwa defended the appeals for donations, saying there was no link to the primary elections.
“These are big items of a capital nature; tower lights, boreholes and internet are of long-term development well beyond elections,” he said.
“For your information, big corporates have already started helping out.
“You shall go to Norton and see surprises, henceforth, as of my return as a constituent player.”
Mutsvangwa said he had sent the appeal for assistance to the European Union, United Kingdom, Turkey, China, South Africa and Indian embassies.
He said he developed connections with those countries during his stint as Foreign Affairs deputy minister.
His opponent, Mutendereki, is quite confident of trouncing Mutsvangwa again.
A number of losing candidates have appealed against their defeats, citing irregularities during the primary elections. A date is yet to be set for the re-runs.