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Mugabe admits crisis


President Robert Mugabe has openly admitted that his Zanu PF party, which has been in power since 1980, is saddled with deep-seated factionalism and nepotism which could cost it heavily in the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing party supporters at the end of a five-day annual national conference in Bulawayo on Saturday, President Mugabe blamed imposition of candidates for Zanu PF’s failure in previous elections.

“Leaders in the provinces are causing problems,” he said to thunderous applause.

“We want to impose our own choices. “If you are a central committee member, you can propose a candidate or make recommendations.

“Make recommendations and let the people discuss the man or woman you are talking about, his or her virtues.”

President Mugabe said some leaders were using all sorts of “fraudulent means”, including “buying people” and “promising gifts”, to ensure their chosen candidates were selected.

“That is wrong,” he said. “We cannot have people rigging and ousting people’s preferences. Faction! Faction!

“All provinces have got factions. There is no province that has no faction.

“I don’t want to mention names here, but that is the reality in the provinces. Leaders want relatives to take over. People should be voted for on the basis of their performance.

“Some have their wives in the women’s league and want their wives to get positions.

“Let’s be straightforward. Let her be voted into power like everybody else, not because she is your wife.”

Factionalism and imposition of candidates is reported to have cost Zanu PF in the last harmonised elections in 2008 as members reacted by voting against their party in a show of protest.

The polls saw President Mugabe losing the first round of the presidential elections to MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

At the time, some Zanu PF bigwigs like the late Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru, who died in a fire in August, were reportedly sponsoring the candidature of Simba Makoni, who had quit the former liberation movement to launch his Dawn/Kusile/Mavambo project.

President Mugabe told delegates his name was misused by such mischievous leaders to further their own warped political interests.

“Some of them say what I am telling you is what the President wants and I am just coming from the President.

No! No! You don’t do a thing because the President likes it, but because that is what the party requires. I will never say vote for so-and-so.”

Earlier delegates had adopted a resolution against imposition of election candidates.

In his opening remarks at the conference, Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said the party was drafting regulations for primary elections ahead of the harmonised polls which the former sole ruling party wants to be held early next year.

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