The Zimbabwe People First led by Dr Joice Mujuru, is reportedly developing cold feet over the impending Bikita West parliamentary by-election.
It emerged senior party officials in Masvingo were now giving conflicting statements on the party’s actual position vis-a-vis the by-election.The development comes as a faction of ZimPF in Masvingo has already selected former Zanu-PF national youth league member Mr Kudakwashe Gopo as the party’s candidate for the looming Bikita West by-election.
Dates for the Bikita West by-election have not yet been announced. The parliamentary by-election will be held to fill a vacancy created after the jailing of former legislator for the area Munyaradzi Kereke for raping his then 11-year-old niece.
Zanu-PF has already held primary elections to choose a candidate for the impending by-election, which were won by Masvingo Women’s League provincial executive member Cde Beauty Chabaya.
Besides Zanu-PF, the National Constitutional Assembly, is reportedly keen to contest in the by-election with the party’s spokesperson Mr Madock Chivasa, touted as a frontrunner to represent the party in the by-election.
ZimPF Masvingo acting provincial spokesperson Mr Jeffreyson Chitando, said the party’s national leadership was yet to announce a position on the impending Bikita West parliamentary by-election.
“We are still to get official communication from the national leadership of our party on whether or not we are going to participate in Bikita West. The leadership of the party will tell us whether we are going to play ball with the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) or take part on our own,’’ he said.
“However, right now we do not stop some of our members who might have interest to take part in the poll to start campaigning now as independent candidates and come out in the open once the party has made a position in the by-election,’’ he added.
Mr Chitando hinted that ZimPF was currently seized with mobilisation and organisation of the party ahead of a convention to choose a substantive national leadership rather than partaking in by-elections.
ZimPF spokesperson Mr Jealousy Mawarire, could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was switched off.
However, ousted ZimPF Masvingo provincial coordinator Retired Colonel Claudious Makova, sang a different tune saying the opposition party was going to contest the Bikita West by-election.
“Who said we are not going to contest, that is not true, we will contest in Bikita West and we already have a candidate,’’ said Rtd Col Makova in a short response. Herald