ZANU PF Announces Candidates for February 2024 By-Elections in Chegutu West and Zvimba East

December 18, 2023
| Report Focus News

Chegutu, Zimbabwe – In an official statement released today, ZANU PF has revealed the candidates who will vie for the parliamentary seats in the upcoming February 2024 by-elections in Chegutu West and Zvimba East constituencies. These two seats were left vacant following the recall of Eddie Chivero and Oliver Mutasa by the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), led by self-styled interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu.

In a letter dated December 16, 2023, ZANU PF’s national political commissar, Mike Bimha, announced the party’s chosen representatives for the upcoming by-elections. According to the letter addressed to Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, the party’s Mashonaland West chairman, Wellington Shakemore Timburwa and Kudakwashe Munhanzva will contest in Chegutu West and Zvimba East, respectively.

Bimha’s letter stated, “This letter serves to notify that following their victory in the primary elections, the under-listed candidates shall represent the party on the 3 February 2024 by-elections, (a) Chegutu West constituency Wellington Shakemore Timburwa, (b) Zvimba East constituency Kudakwashe Munanzva.”

The Nomination Court is scheduled to sit on December 18 to receive papers from potential candidates, marking the official beginning of the by-election process.

This announcement puts to rest speculation surrounding former Chegutu West Member of Parliament (MP), Dexter Nduna, who had been rumored to challenge his disqualification as a party representative. Nduna’s hopes of running in the primary election were dashed when ZANU PF disqualified him, and the reasons for his disqualification remain undisclosed.

Mliswa-Chikoka recently presided over a potentially heated meeting at Rukawo Hotel, where tensions flared following the announcement of Nduna’s disqualification. The former Chegutu West MP had expressed optimism about reversing the decision made by the Politburo, but this did not come to fruition.

In Chegutu West, the primary elections witnessed a contest between Wellington Shakemore Timburwa, Brian Chinyama, and Timothy Masviba, with Last Farai Chigavazira withdrawing from the race under unclear circumstances.

In Zvimba East, former legislator Francis Mukwangwarirwa, who narrowly lost the predominantly rural constituency in the recent harmonized elections, contested the primaries against Gibson Chihaka, Antony Magama Dube, and Kudakwashe Munanzva.

The by-elections also extend to local council seats, with Edward Besu winning the right to represent ZANU PF in Chinhoyi Ward 9, facing a lightweight challenge from Job Mavata. In Chinhoyi Ward 10, Godfrey Muzhandamuri emerged as the victor, overcoming challenges from Angeline Rupere, West Chinembiri, and Elias Mhako. This ward seat became vacant following the recall of CCC’s Lovemore Kurwakumire.

Viola Moyo secured victory in the primary election for Ward 12, beating ZANU PF Youth League officials Ketty Chanetsa, Patrick Nyamayaro, and Innocent Simba Chakaodza. The ward seat fell vacant following the recall of former Chinhoyi mayor Dyke Makumbi.

Despite challenges posed by rainy weather, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka assured that the internal polls were conducted fairly and democratically. She stated, “There were issues of rains here and there but this didn’t stop people from going to vote for their preferred candidates. This clearly shows that the democratic process is what we followed. Everyone is happy with the candidates who have energized the electorate.”

The upcoming by-elections in Chegutu West and Zvimba East will be closely watched as they play a crucial role in shaping the political landscape in Zimbabwe. Stay tuned for more updates as the election process unfolds.