FORMER Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti says he decided against contesting the Mwenezi East by-election to avoid exposing villagers to Zanu PF violence.
By Everson Mushava
Ward 13 councillor and Zanu PF candidate Joshua Moyo was declared the new MP for Mwenezi East constituency after he went unchallenged at the close of the nomination court on Monday.
He replaces Bhasikiti who was recalled from Parliament in a ruthless purge targeting party members perceived to belong to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction over allegations of plotting against President Robert Mugabe.
Bhasikiti was expected to contest as an independent candidate after his legal bid to stop Mugabe from firing him from Zanu PF and recalling him from the National Assembly was dismissed by a full Constitutional Court (ConCourt) bench last Friday.
The former minister said he had decided against standing as an independent candidate because he was afraid people would be exposed to violence by Zanu PF.
“I put people first,” Bhasikiti said.
“I just thought if I could contest, my people would be exposed to widespread violence from Zanu PF and I decided, I should now concentrate on national issues than fight for the seat.”
Zanu PF allegedly turned Hurungwe West into a battle zone ahead of the June 10 by-elections contested by former MP, Temba Mliswa who lost the battle to Keith Guzah of the ruling party.
Mliswa had been recalled from Parliament as part of the purge that has so far claimed the scalps of over 140 party stalwarts including Mujuru and former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa.
“Government should now use the money it was supposed to spend in the September 9 by-election to compensate the people of Chingwizi who were displaced from Tokwe-Mukosi (by floods). Most of them were not compensated,” Bhasikiti said.
“The ConCourt said I should form my own party to challenge Mugabe.
“I cannot contest as an independent candidate; I am going to do as they told me to do.
“I am now working towards forming the party so that we can remove Mugabe in the next elections.”
Bhasikiti is linked to People First, a party made up of disgruntled party members who were purged from the party over their alleged links Mujuru.
The party was reportedly fronted by Mujuru and is expected to challenge Mugabe in the 2018 general elections.