CHIREDZI- Serious fissures have emerged within the Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) after a disputed election in which former chairperson Edmore Veterai was walloped by Elisha Tamirepi for the top post.
The election to choose the association’s new executive was held recently at Porepore Hall in Mkwasine and Veterai has refused to accept defeat and is said to be leading a parallel executive.
Tensions started in April this year when the Tamirepi camp sought out a court order to bar an election which they said was being conducted under a dark cloud which would favor the Veterai camp.
Last week, Tamirepi polled 70 votes against Veterai’s 60 with the latter refusing to accept the results saying they are null and void.
“We will not accept the result because it is a product of a fraudulent process. The elections were rigged and people without identification documents were being allowed to vote,” said Veterai.
Veterai also said that the association has formally split into two respectable groups, with one led by him and the other by Tamirepi.
“ZSDA has formally split into two respectable working teams. One team is led by Tamirepi and the other team is led by Veterai. We have established a team of ten, five from the Tamirepi group and five from the E.G Veterai group.
“Next week they will seat down to take stock of ZSDA inventory and equitably and proportionately recognize each contribution on residues,” said Veterai.
The election was convened by Chiredzi Rural District Council chairperson, Edward Matsilele.
ZSDA which had a membership of about 135 farmers is likely to face an exit from the Zimbabwe Sugar Sales (ZSS) board, where an association should have a minimum of 100 farmers.