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Divisions derail Zanu PF restructuring

The election of district committees and verification of membership began in earnest in January but the programme has hit a snag due to the boycott of meetings by scores of party officials. The Zanu PF members are no longer actively involved in party programmes because the former liberation movement has been losing elections since 2000, according to party officials.

The region has become an MDC-T stronghold but Zanu PF since last month has been mobilising structures to boost its membership from 13 000, which was announced during the December 2011 annual conference.

Provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela confirmed in an interview on Wednesday that the restructuring programme was stalled due to “a number of in-house issues”. He, however, said the former ruling party was optimistic that the exercise will be complete in time for the primary elections in preparation for the national polls expected at end of year or early next year.

Zanu PF sources said the majority of provincial executive members assigned to lead the verification of structures, election as well as co-option of officials into structures were reluctant to spearhead the revival of the party. Hundreds of Zanu PF officials and supporters have crossed the floor to the revived Zapu, MDC and MDC-T.

Bulawayo has become a political hotbed where factions trade their blows and this has helped destroy the party led by President Robert Mugabe.
Last year, Dakamela’s executive threatened to fire officials who were boycotting critical meetings saying they were sabotaging the growth and strength of the liberation movement.

It has also emerged that some veteran politicians were keen on revving their political careers by contesting the forthcoming parliamentary elections but there was fear of being embarrassed by younger members of the party.

Dakamela said none of the veteran politicians have publicly declared their interests in contesting in the elections.

“Primary elections will determine who will contest in the constituencies. It’s still too early to speculate who will be contesting in which seat. But we are united and we will be stronger after our restructuring exercise,” he said.

Last year Zanu PF commissar Webster Shamu told a politburo meeting that the party was not ready for elections because of shambolic structures. The recovery exercise is meant to strengthen structures ahead of the polls.

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