FORMER Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo is one of the biggest casualties of Zanu PF’s proposed regulations on primary elections, which will bar members who have served the party for less than five consecutive years from contesting.
The regulations — cobbled up by the party’s mobilisation committee led by secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa — are seen as a way of blocking the so-called “Young Turks” seeking to challenge the old guard in the Zanu PF primaries.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo last night refused to speak to NewsDay on the matter, saying he was not happy with a story the paper carried at the weekend revealing that the party’s structures were in shambles.
But earlier Mutasa had told ZBC that under the proposed regulations, set to be discussed at a party politburo meeting on December 4, only card-carrying members who have served the party for five or more consecutive years, would be eligible to stand.
“We met with the mobilisation committee which gave us feedback on the rules and regulations governing the conduct of primary elections,” Gumbo said.
“These were expected to be tabled before the politburo, and if adopted will then be made public and the dates for the primary elections will be set.”
If adopted, the move would be a fatal blow to aspiring candidates,who include retired soldiers and members of the Central Intelligence Organisation who have been positioning themselves to challenge the Zanu PF old guard in a number of constituencies.
Moyo only rejoined Zanu PF in 2009, four years after his expulsion for standing as an independent candidate for Tsholotsho North.
Earlier, he had been accused of leading a revolt against President Robert Mugabe, which is now infamously known as the Tsholotsho Declaration.
The alleged revolt claimed the scalp of six provincial chairpersons, among them Manicaland’s Mike Madiro, Masvingo’s Daniel Shumba and Midlands’ July Moyo. They were accused of allegedly spearheading the plot that would have elevated Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa into the presidium.
Moyo went on to win the Tsholotsho seat as an independent candidate in 2005 and again in 2008 before reapplying to rejoin Zanu PF in 2009.
Besides Moyo, other senior politicians to be affected by the Zanu PF primary elections regulations include Madiro, Shumba, July Moyo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa who were harbouring parliamentary ambitions in their home provinces. The politicians were recently re-admitted into the party.
Several bigwigs in Zanu PF are reportedly facing challenges from the Young Turks who are calling for leadership renewal and regeneration of the party.