It has since emerged that Zanu PF Matabeleland North province did not hold primary elections to nominate a candidate to represent the party.
Instead, the party nominated Mbongeni Dube based on the results of primary elections held ahead of the 2018 national elections.
One of the five aspiring candidates who were eying the post, Fibion Ngwenya, wrote a letter of complaint to the party's national executive protesting the move.
"Ngwenya wrote to the party to complain that the party will lose because Dube was not the most popular of the candidates gunning for the seat," said a Zanu-PF official.
"He said if the party had followed processes, they would have come up with a better candidate chosen out of consensus but what was done has created serious divisions."
As a protest, Ngwenya boycotted a provincial meeting held in Lupane on June 16.
Zanu-PF provincial chairperson Richard Moyo denied Ngwenya's allegations.
He said only Ngwenya out of five candidates was opposed to Dube's candidacy but the rest had agreed that Dube contests.
The Lupane East constituency fell vacant after the death of Zanu-PF MP Sithembile Gumbo.
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