IN a race to meet the July 31 elections deadline Zanu PF is expected to conduct its primary elections on June 24, four days ahead of June 28 which President Robert Mugabe has set as the date for the nomination of candidates.
Report by Elias Mambo
Mugabe yesterday proclaimed July 31 as the date for general elections, in compliance with a recent Constitutional Court ruling.
After meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week, Zanu PF’s politburo finally endorsed the party’s rules and regulations to guide the conduct of the primary elections on June 24. The politburo meetings also discussed the party’s preparedness for elections, its manifesto and position on the Sadc extraordinary summit in Maputo, Mozambique, tomorrow.
In a frank presentation on the daunting challenges facing Zanu PF ahead of polls, national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo told the politburo his probe team’s findings had shown the party was not ready for elections because of factionalism and infighting.
Following the recent eruption of fresh intra-party clashes in Masvingo, Manicaland and Bulawayo, the Zanu PF politburo appointed a team comprising Khaya Moyo, national commissar Webster Shamu, national secretary for security Sydney Sekeramayi and secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa to quell the infighting.
A politburo insider said: “Khaya Moyo was very frank and open when he tabled his findings that showed provinces were not ready for the polls because the structures are in a shambles.
“The chairperson told the meeting that any mistake at the elections will endanger all of us. He said we must know that if we don’t cross the river together some of us will drown.”
Khaya Moyo warned the party that it would lose in Manicaland, Masvingo and Bulawayo because of deepening divisions on factional lines in those provinces.
“There was deathly silence after Moyo presented his hard-hitting findings,” said another politburo member. Mugabe reportedly jumped in and pleaded with the party leadership to put their differences aside and unite ahead of the crucial elections. “Mugabe appealed for unity and urged people to pull in one direction,” said the politburo member.
The old guard in the party was accused of “ring-fencing” itself from competition, especially from the so-called young turks.
The politburo also quashed a proposal from the Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri to reserve 62 seats for women in the primary elections.
The party hardliners argued that women were already catered for in the election of 60 women through proportional representation, adding that the party should field the strongest candidates to win the elections.
A party insider said Muchinguri, who is aligned to the Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction, had identified the 62 constituencies, which included Makoni South, Chimanimani West and Chipinge South, held by Vice President Joice Mujuru’s close allies, against whom the Mnangagwa grouping is fighting.