THE Zanu PF politburo has waived the party’s five-year minimum condition for members to represent it in the general elections in a bid to allow a few party officials as well as serving and retired security sector heavyweights to contest in the forthcoming elections, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
The Zanu PF constitution is clear that for one to contest in elections, one has to have been a member for five consecutive years, but this condition has been set aside as the beleaguered party tries to avoid defeat by the MDC formations.
Sources in the party said the politburo was faced with a conundrum of dealing with the likes of Jonathan Moyo, Philip Chiyangwa and members of the security forces who have thrown their hats into the ring for the high-stakes elections.
“These people were supposed to be admitted into the party as ordinary members and serve for five years before representing the party in any election,” said a Zanu PF source.
Moyo, who contested as an independent candidate in 2008, was expelled from Zanu PF in 2005 before he was re-admitted in 2009, while Chiyangwa was re-admitted early last year.Several serving and retired members of the army, police and CIO have indicated their interest in representing the party in the polls.
Sources in the party said Elias Kanengoni, CIO deputy director-internal, is interested in the Mazowe senatorial seat, while serving CIO operative Lesley Humbe is seeking to oust Tourism minister Walter Mzembi from his Masvingo South seat. Colonel Phillip Toperesu, a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, is reportedly also after Mzembi’s seat.
Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao is facing a stiff challenge from another serving CIO operative Francis Mukwangariwa who has made his intentions public.
In Buhera South, Assistant Police Commissioner Oliver Mandipaka, a police spokesperson, has been campaigning while another serving operative in the CIO training department, Francis Muchenje, wants to stand in Makoni North.
Zanu PF structures are already significantly dominated by officials with some security background, including former Vice-Air Marshal Henry Muchena and CIO director-internal Sydney Nyanhongo.