Primaries: President warns violent party officials
Joseph Madzimure–Senior Reporter
Zanu PF has warned party members, who may be unhappy with the outcome of the primary elections not to resort to unruly behaviour as that would result in immediate expulsion.
This emerged at yesterday’s Politburo meeting, that started late in the afternoon to consider the outcome of last weekend’s primary elections and was adjourned to next week Monday.
Addressing the media yesterday following the meeting at the party headquarters, Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Chris Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa spoke strongly against violence.
“If there were instances of violence in any particular constituency or ward, the President took a very strong hard line. He is on record saying no to violence and he was very clear that charity begins at home. And if there were instances of violence, which were carried out by either of the candidates or both candidates in a particular constituency, one stood to be disqualified if the information was available, and if the violence was mutual then there will be re-runs or they will be disqualifications,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He said he could not announce, where reruns would be held until the party gets a comprehensive report from provinces.
Cde Mutsvangwa urged party members to exercise high levels of discipline when conducting party business.
“We feel that the primary elections should satisfy the issue of discipline, the issue of inclusiveness, the issue of comradeship. We want to become one family. This is an important exercise and we take it very seriously,” he said.
The Politburo meeting yesterday covered two provinces, Harare and Bulawayo and others will be considered next week.
“We were actually looking at what happens with the voters on the ground, so we covered Harare, Bulawayo, the two major centres. The other provinces are still outstanding. We will have the exercise next week.”
The Politburo was focusing on the endorsement of successful candidates, who contested the primary elections which were held across the country last weekend.
Additionally, Cde Mutsvangwa said the President was very much appreciative of the work of the Political Commissar Cde Mike Bimha, and the atmosphere under which the polls were held.
“The results are all in now, they have come from various provinces including Masvingo and Midlands, which took a little bit longer because of logistical issues. Our main interest being to make sure that the eager party members, who were keen to cast their votes for the Zanu PF primaries were given a chance.
“At the end of the day, we want to catch as many a voter as possible because it is a reflection of the membership of the party,” he said.
The number of candidates, he said, were very high, as was the diversity of the contestants and the active participation of youths.
“It clearly showed that the message of hope is reaching the younger generation.
“We are moving from apathy with the national politics to active engagement with national politics. People are seeing that if they get into politics they can make a difference, that’s why there were so many candidates from various walks of life, the older and the young generations,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
The party, he added, also considered gender balance.
“We also see the inclusive nature of Zanu PF and the embracing of not only the women candidates to address the gender issue but also the youth constituency to address the population generation issue. The party is very happy.
“We also make sure that people are not excluded for any frivolous reasons because Zanu PF is a big house, everybody can come in to the house and everyone can identify with the house of Zanu PF.”