MASVINGO - The Zanu PF Bikita West primaries which were conducted a fortnight ago have come under scrutiny from embittered Team Lacoste who are accusing the rival G40 faction of rigging the election in favour of their alleged proxy; Beauty Chabaya.
Chabaya, who entered the election as an underdog, stunned her opponents when she polled 1 423 votes ahead of her closest rival; Elias Musakwa who entered the race as a favourite.
Musakwa polled a paltry 540 votes leading to earlier speculation that he was planning to challenge the result though he seems to have eventually given up.
Chabaya's win proved to be a bitter pill to swallow for members of Team Lacoste who are now fighting Chabaya and her suspected political benefactor, Jappy Joboon, with the aim of scuttling the endorsement of her victory by the party.
Jaboon, who is also the party's political commissar at provincial level, is suspected to be a kingpin in the G40 faction.
Alleged Team Lacoste frontman and psychomotor minister, Josaya Hungwe is said to be fighting for the matter to be tabled at Friday's Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting.
Some losing candidates, including Retired Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, have also petitioned Zanu PF over the outcome of the election, alleging gross irregularities in the contact of the polls.
Hungwe, however, kept hanging up the call when TellZim News reached out to him but well-placed sources said the fight to have the result nullified will be escalated in the PCC this Friday.
"We know the election was rigged, no doubt about it. Saying Chabaya won defies logic. She is a virtual unknown in the party. We fear losing the seat to the MDC in 2018 because Zanu PF supporters are disgruntled with the manner the election was held.
"We know that those guys are expert at rigging elections but letting a weak candidate carry the seat now means the seat will be donated to the opposition in 2018," said the source, who is believed to harbour sympathies for Team Lacoste.
Zanu PF Provincial Chairperson Amasa Nhenjana, who is believed to be fighting in the G40 corner with a deep dislike for Musakwa, rubbished allegations of wrongdoing in the primaries.
"I wonder why people always cry foul when results are presented to them. When you enter into any race, one of two things will happen – either you win or you lose. Losers should learn to face reality and support the winner for the benefit of the party.
"We cannot waste time fighting each other when we have an election to prepare for. The elections in Bikita West were held freely and fairly. Those who say they were rigged should accept reality and not let jealous or factional politics cloud their judgements," said Nhenjana.
"We are aware of the plot to discredit the results by some members who could not stomach seeing their candidate lose. We will not lose sleep over that neither are we going to allow them to smuggle the matter into the PCC," Nhenjana added.
TellZim News is also informed that the nascent Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party is fighting its own factional battles, with one faction said to be pushing for Kudakwashe Gopo to be fielded as a candidate, despite Heya Shoko being seen as a better option.news