By Mugove Tafirenyika POLITICAL EDITOR

ZANU PF bigwigs who lost last week’s party provincial elections have accepted the decision taken by the politburo not to reverse the outcomes of the polls despite their complaints over alleged irregularities.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, the disgruntled Zanu PF cadres pledged to put aside the pain of losing and work with their erstwhile adversaries for the good of the party ahead of the March 26 by-elections and the 2023 harmonised polls.

“We are happy with the decisions made by the politburo and we go by that because they were just internal elections.  As you know I am the district coordinating committee chairperson for Makonde so we are going to work with the new executive in the upcoming council by-elections to reclaim the six wards in Chinhoyi,” deputy Information minister Kindness Paradza, who lost the Mashonaland West provincial chairperson post to Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, told the Daily News yesterday.

Mliswa-Chikoka made history in Zanu PF by becoming the first woman in the party to be provincial chair.

In Mashonaland East Province, former political commissar Herbert Shumbamhini, who was challenging National Housing minister Daniel Garwe’s chairperson victory citing alleged rigging, also said he had given up the fight to have the results overturned.

“I have already moved on. It is not something that should give me sleepless nights and fail to work with my colleagues. It was just an election where there are winners and losers, he won and I lost. That is how it goes in politics, so I will work with the winners towards mobilising votes for our party both for 2023 and the upcoming by-elections,” Shumbamhini said.

Top businessman, Ozias Bvute, who was among the several officials  who were eyeing the party’s provincial leadership positions, as well as women’s and youth posts, but were disqualified, was the first to accept his fate before the polls were held.

In an interview with the Daily News last week, Bvute said he respected the party’s decision to disqualify him — adding that those who had been given the green light to contest the elections would still be able to advance Zanu PF’s work well going forward.

“The party has, in its wisdom, seen that at this juncture I cannot contest. I abide by its decision and fully respect it. I wish all the best to those who have been allowed to contest in these elections.

“I have no doubt that the outcome will further strengthen our revolutionary party ahead of the by-elections next year and the 2023 elections,” Bvute told the Daily News.

Addressing the media in Harare after Wednesday’s crucial politburo meeting, Zanu PF national political commissar, Mike Bimha, said the former liberation movement had resolved to uphold the results of last week’s internal elections.

“Complaints from provinces were attended to and most will be attended to, but they won’t affect the results announced today.

“The commissariat listens to all. There were issues of violence here and there and these will be investigated.

“We expect the same teams that supervised provinces to go back because all provincial structures were dissolved and politburo members were now in charge.

“Now with new executives, they will go back to give authority back to the newly- elected officials,” Bimha said.

The decision by the politburo to uphold the provincial election results came after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had earlier berated some party officials for “chicanery in some areas” in last week’s polls, while also calling for unity between the victors and the vanquished.

“It is the people and ultimately the party that wins. Party cadres who did not make it in the recent elections must avail themselves, their experiences, skills and competencies to build and grow our party.

“Irregularities and political chicanery across party structures must be decisively dealt with and expunged from the party.

“An election lost must never dampen the revolutionary spirit of any cadre, but must inspire them to learn, develop and mature in their political career,” Mnangagwa said.

“In all our dealings, members must conduct themselves honourably, informed by the party constitution, rules procedures, principles and ethos,” he added.

The disgruntled bigwigs had compiled dossiers of alleged malpractices which they said had led to their “unfair” defeats.

In Mashonaland West, where Mliswa-Chikoka made history by becoming the first woman to occupy the influential provincial chairperson’s position in the party, Paradza had said that he was pinning his hopes on the politburo nullifying the results of that election.

Mliswa-Chikoka polled 16 931 votes against Paradza’s 8 257 in the contest.

In Mashonaland East, where Garwe was declared winner, his closest rival Shumbamhini had also prepared a formal complaint.

Similarly in Masvingo, Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira — who lost the chairmanship to Rabison Mavhenyengwa — was also seeking a re-run.