By Daniel Chigundu
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the Zanu Politburo is going to meet tomorrow (Saturday 5 May 2018) to review challenges encountered during the just ended primary elections which saw some party bigwigs falling by the wayside.
Zanu PF held its primary elections from 29 April to 3rd of May this year, but the internal polls were marred by complaints of irregularities that include vote-buying, violence, manipulation of boundaries, ballot stuffing with some candidates going as far as running away with ballot boxes.
In some constituencies, some candidate names were missing from the provided ballot papers.
Addressing party supporters during the 2018 harmonised elections manifesto and campaign launch, President Mnangagwa said they could not announce the final list of candidates as Politburo needs to check how the process was conducted.
“The last two weeks have seen our party going through internal processes to strengthen democratic systems and culminating in the holding of primary elections from April 29 to May 3rds 2018 under the newly created Zanu PF national elections committee.
As I said in my statement on the conduct of primary elections, whatever teething problem we have experienced so far we have noted them closely, this is why we won’t announce the final winners today since the politburo will be meeting tomorrow to go through the results in order for us to look at all the challenges that we have faced in processes internally.
“We remain convinced that the democratic course we have started in the management of our party affairs is the correct one; we must never deviate from the bold decision we took to deepen and strengthen our internal democratic system.
“We should guard against those with ulterior motives that may violet and undermine these democratic systems we have put in place,” he said.
Party top liner Christopher Mutsvangwa who lost the Norton Constituency primary election alleged some underhand dealing between the ousted G40 and current legislator Temba Mliswa.
Mutsvangwa wrote a letter to Zanu Pf national commissar Englebert Rugeje stating that he does not recognise the outcome of the polls alleging the violation of the party constitution.
“…the main reasons being the unconstitutional use of the Zimbabwe Republic Police a state agency as election returning officers. These policemen were principal players in the uninhibited rigging as well as wholesale denial of the voting to legions of bona fide party members.
“Of particular note is the fact that the cell register used for polling was illicitly compiled by Constance Shamu to solely further the illegal win of Langton Mutendereke.
“It is inconceivable that a politically active constituency such as Norton can on render less than 4 000 votes. This patently false picture would spell electoral danger in the upcoming national elections,” said the letter.
Mnangagwa acknowledged that indeed there were some irregularities adding that after the review some constituencies may be forced to redo the primary election processes.
He was however quick to say that “the world over systems once established get strengthened and fine-tuned over time…
“Comrades, Zanu PF has the responsibility to shape and reshape the national body politics, its practices, democratic behaviour and electoral ethos as a party we must never quit from this responsibility, it is our responsibility together as cadres of this party,” he said.
Picture by Daniel Chigundu
By Daniel Chigundu