THE rules and regulations for election onto the Zanu PF central committee, which among other requirements stipulate candidates must have served in the party structures for 15 consecutive years, continue to be a thorny issue in the party amid revelations that a section linked to the security sector and other party officials are pressing for a waiver.
However sources in Zanu PF maintained that the Zanu PF old guard, especially those linked to the faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, are adamant that the regulations would not be changed “to guard the party from opportunists and people who want to destroy it from within”.
Those pushing for a review of the regulations include party officials aligned to the faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who stand to lose out after a number of officials were suspended or expelled from the party in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsholotsho declaration.
The declaration was aimed at ensuring Mnangagwa was elevated to the vice presidency, which would have placed him in good stead to eventually land the presidency.
“There is also a strong argument coming from the security sector for a waiver for people who were serving the interest of Zanu PF while in the security sector, government, diplomatic circles and other areas,” said a senior party official.
He said the security sector believes it has over the years played a key role in ensuring Zanu PF remains in power “including rescuing (President Robert) Mugabe after being defeated by the MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the 2008 presidential election.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed there was a push for a waiver but said the regulations would remain in place as they were taken in the best interests of the party.
A politburo member, who also said the regulations were likely to remain despite pressure “from both within and without” told the Zimbabwe Independent the party had taken a tough stance as it wanted to ensure only trusted and loyal people get positions of authority.
“Of course some of them were in the government or the security sector, but where they in Zanu PF? Some people have been trying to destroy the party from within. We have to be careful.”
The regulations mean Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo, who was last month described as a weevil by Mugabe will not make the central committee and by extension the politburo, unless Mugabe uses his discretion to appoint him. The Zanu PF constitution allows Mugabe to appoint 10 people into the central committee.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and former cabinet minister July Moyo would be ineligible for the central committee.