MASVINGO - The Zanu PF Bikita West primary elections to replace incarcerated Munyaradzi Kereke ended in tears for perennial loser, Elias Musakwa after Beauty Chabaya emerged victorious from the crowded primary field last Saturday.
Chabaya will battle it out with candidates from opposition parties in the by-election to replace Kereke who was jailed 10 years for raping his niece at gun point.
Musakwa was initially disqualified from contesting in the primaries for a cocktail of transgressions including perceived links to Joice Mujuru's ZimPF and refusing to return a party vehicle. He hoped to win the contest to reverse a series of political setbacks.
It was, however, Chabaya who carried the day after polling 1423, a massive 883 votes more than Musakwa's paltry 540.
Chibaya is now almost certain to take the seat as no opposition party has so far shown interest to contest in the by-election.
Many were however shocked by the results of the primaries as Musakwa had entered the race as the favourite, with others claiming Chabaya did not have as much political clout as Musakwa.
Chabaya is suspected to be in the G40 faction which is embroiled in a bitter tussle with Team Lacoste to influence Zanu PF's unpredictable succession path. She is also rumoured to be a close confidante of Jeppy Jaboon, the provincial political commissar who has also emerged as the G40 frontman in the province.
The primary field had 10 contestants including Daniel Makusha who took third position with 418 votes and Tichaona Delight Mandebvu who emerged at number four with 382 votes.
Other contenders were Gibson Mashingaidze 212, Wellington Mutisi 123, Douglas Makuku 114, Joshua Dehwa 75, Simon Masosonere 56, Geoffrey Murire 18 votes.
After the elections, some messages circulated on social claiming Musakwa was unsatisfied with the result and was mulling mounting a challenge with the party provincial executive.
Zanu PF Provincial Chairperson, Amasa Nhenjana, however, dismissed any talk of dissatisfaction with the primaries, saying everything was done smoothly.
"We don't care about him (Musakwa). Is there anything that he has ever been satisfied with in Zanu PF? We told him to return the party vehicle but he refused. What then does he want to be satisfied with now?" said Nhenjana.
Provincial war veterans chairperson, Tendeukai Chinooneka, who is suspected to be fighting in Team Lacoste's corner, also gave the conduct of the primaries a clean bill of health.
"Of course you are bound to find some instances of dissatisfaction in every contest but the process was generally good as everything went on well. Though I didn't visit every polling station, the information I have at hand point to a fairly good process," said Chinooneka.
This becomes Musakwa's third failed bid to take the seat, after losing by nine votes to the opposition MDC in 2008 and to Munyaradzi Kereke in 2013.news