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​MDC Alliance Chegutu East candidate Tawanda Bvumo



STORY BY JAMES MUONWA

The MDC Alliance needs to work hard to cast out fear inherent in the
rural electorate following years of intimidation and torture by the
ruling Zanu PF, if the coalition fancies any hopes of winning by a
landslide in the upcoming 2018 harmonised elections, an opposition
candidate has said.
Tawanda Bvumo of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), led by Tendai
Biti who is part of the MDC Alliance, said voters in rural areas
feared casting their ballot in favour of the opposition in fear of
retribution by Zanu PF elements who threaten violence upon them.
"We have mobilised adequately and conducted extensive voter education
and have assured the electorate that no harm will befall them if they
vote the opposition. Voters have generally been intimidated and this
has cost us votes in previous elections, but this time they are wiser
and more informed that their choice is their secret," said Bvumo, who
is a local businessman.
Bvumo, who is the MDC Alliance parliamentary candidate for Chegutu
East, faces Zanu PF stalwart Webster Shamu, who has been legislator
for the constituency for the last 10 years. The two squared up in the
2013 polls in which Shamu emerged the victor amid accusations of voter
intimidation and rigging.
Bvumo said this time around the coalition had put all stops to curb
chances of rigging by setting up teams of up to 20 youths who will
camp and monitor activities at each voting centre.
The MDC Alliance candidate is confident of victory over Shamu arguing
the former Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister nolonger
enjoyed the full backing of his Zanu PF party, amid allegations he was
a G40 cabalist loyal to ousted former president Robert Mugabe and his
wife Grace.
To make matters worse, Bvumo alleges, Shamu had fielded his loyalists
as independent councillors in some of the 14 wards in Chegutu East to
contest against those who won primaries and were endorsed by his party
Zanu PF.
Bvumo further alleges Shamu thrived on abusing State resources such as
fertilisers, seed and food aid to lure voters during previous
elections, arguing his chances of winning the polls were slim as he
did not have resources to buy votes this time around after he was
fired from his top government job by President Emmerson Mnangagwa
recently.
Efforts to get comment from Shamu over the allegations were fruitless.
If elected into Parliament, the youthful politician said he would
ensure that Chegutu East villagers will be recruited for employment at
platinum mining giants, Ngezi Platinum while empowering communities by
initiating chicken-rearing and other income-generating projects.
Bvumo also said he would advocate for the issuance of title deeds to
A2 farmers and the decentralisation of veterinary services to the area
and also help regularise the operations of artisanal miners in the
constituency. The constituency has 28 000 registered voter, according to the latest Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) figures. These are mostly farm compound dwellers, subsistence farmers, gold panners and vendors. TOP NEWS.



TWO of the 49 people injured in a suspected grenade explosion during President Emmerson Mnangagwa's campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday, died at Mpilo Hospital yesterday.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa and Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Angeline Masuku confirmed the development, but declined to name the deceased, saying their next of kin had not yet been informed.
"We have lost two victims of the blast that occurred on Saturday in Bulawayo. Our medical teams have been working hard to assist, but they were seriously injured. One of them who passed on had his intestines out and he lost a lot of blood," Parirenyatwa said.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not be reached for comment as her mobile phone went unanswered, but sources claimed that the deceased were members of the Presidential Guard.
Although Mnangagwa left unscathed in the blast, several of his top lieutenants, among them Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga's wife Marry, Zanu PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri and party commissar Engelbert Rugeje were injured.
The stadium has been sealed off since Saturday as police and military ballistic experts were combing the area for possible leads to the cause of the blast, although no arrests have been made to date.
In a related development, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), which is seeking a High Court interdict to stop Zanu PF from frog-marching teachers and pupils to its rallies, yesterday told the court that their case was bolstered by the Bulawayo incident.
Through their lawyer, Doug Coltart, ARTUZ claimed schoolchildren could have been exposed in the attack had the rally been held during school days.
Masvingo High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire, who is presiding over the matter yesterday postponed the hearings to Thursday after Zanu PF failed to pitch up, while Talent Udenge from the Attorney-General's Office representing Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima said he needed time to file his heads of arguments.
Coltart had argued that the matter should proceed even without the input from Zanu PF because of the recent bombing in Bulawayo "which puts schools kids under irreparable harm".
Since 2014, Mnangagwa has been a target of sustained foiled assassination attempts which include, cyanide lacing in his office, several break-ins in his government office and poisoning among other alleged attempts.
As Vice-President between 2014 to last year, Mnangagwa's office was reportedly broken into a record six times, but police were yet to make arrests − leaving many questioning the capability of the State security apparatuses to bring the matter to finality if it was not an inside job.-Online. TOP NEWS.


Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba

The number of registered voters now stands above 5,5 million people after more than 200 000 new registrants were recorded during the voters' roll inspection, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair, Justice Priscilla Chigumba said yesterday.
She said the electoral body was collating information from provinces after voter registration closed last Friday to come up with a final voters' roll.
"During the inspection period, we had 206 225 new registrants, with Midlands leading the pack with 39 079 people, followed by Harare which had 30 651," Justice Chigumba said.
"Our number for registered voters is now slightly above 5,5 million from where we were. The total number of people who inspected the voters' manually stands at 1 917 691. Those who inspected via bulk SMSs were above three million while those who used the USSD code *265# were in the region of 900 000. The platform which was not much active was the link to our website, which had about 50 000 people."
Justice Chigumba said 46 377 people had transferred their polling stations.
"The number of people who registered afresh is about 8 684," she said.
"Remember we had said our exclusion list had about 11 500 people and those who corrected their errors had to register afresh.
"Those turned away for various reasons were about 45 000. Some were turned away because they had no IDs, some had defaced IDs, some brought drivers' licences, some had photocopies of IDs, some were under age while some were not citizens or residents of Zimbabwe."
Inspection of the provisional voters' roll ran from May 19 to 29 at 10 807 centres set up by ZEC for the exercise.
Justice Chigumba said they were now focused on the nomination courts which would sit on June 14.
"We are now going to the nomination courts and we are working on setting up those nomination courts," she said.-Online.

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