Zanu PF’s Pedzisai Scott Sakupwanya and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi are set to go head to head again for the second time following their nomination to contest for the Mabvuku-Tafara parliamentary seat on December 9.
The Mabvuku-Tafara seat fell vacant after self-appointed Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu recalled Kufahakutizwi and other opposition lawmakers in Bulawayo.
Another candidate and leader of Changu Chimuti Chakapinda Chapinda (CCCC), David Chitimbe who had filed his nomination failed to pay the required US$1 000 fee by the close of proceedings at 1800hrs resulting in his disqualification.
“The following have been duly nominated. Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi of CCC. Sakupwanya Pedzai of Zanu PF party. Nomination form of Chitimbe David of CCCC party has been rejected due to failure to pay nomination fees,” said Harare Nomination Court officer, Fiona Kurima.
In the previous campaign period, Sakupwanya went all out for the seat, spending millions in rehabilitating the main road linking Mabvuku-Tafara to Mutare Road, drilling boreholes and even flying former American boxer Floyd Mayweather as a show of financial muscle.
Despite the valiant efforts on August 23, Sakupwanya polled 12,038 against CCC Kufahakutizwi’s 15,934 votes.
Speaking to the media after the closure of the nomination court, Kufahakutizwi has since promised to return the seat saying the nomination process sealed another fate for Sakupwanya despite attempts to rig the polls.
“This process is just funny to me, just coming to another by-election in just two months…I know I am quite confident I will win,” said Kufahakutizwi.
“We also need to deal with certain issues like the issues of the voters roll. I heard when the President announced that there is a by-election in Mabvuku, these guys I am advised tried to stuff in numbers. Like people from Caledonia, Ruwa, Epworth they do not have a byelection.
“So they stuff their members from Zanu PF so that they will also add in terms of their numbers. We believe that when we do the election for Mabvuku-Tafara, we expect Mabvuku-Tafara residents to select the candidate of their choice,” he added.
Efforts to get comments from Sakupwanya and Zanu PF were futile.