TSHOLOTSHO North MP Jonathan Moyo yesterday said he is confident Zanu PF will bend the rules to allow him to stand in primary elections after the party’s mobilisation committee proposed to bar members who have not served more than five consecutive years from contesting.
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The move — which is subject to approval by the Zanu PF politburo — is seen as way of protecting the party’s old guard from the so-called “Young Turks” eyeing their seats. Retired soldiers and members of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation are reportedly queuing to represent Zanu PF in elections expected next year.
Moyo, who was expelled from Zanu PF in 2005 for defying a party directive not to contest the Tsholotsho seat, was readmitted in 2009. He is likely to be one of the biggest casualties of the party’s new rules that will also affect former provincial chairpersons that he was accused of working in cahoots with during the so-called 2005 Tsholotsho Declaration to reconfigure the Zanu PF presidium.
But Moyo, in an interview with New Zimbabwe, an online publication, claimed the regulations did not affect sitting MPs.
“The fact is that all rules have exceptions in order to avoid breaking because a ruler that does bend breaks,” he said.
He went on to launch an astonishing attack on NewsDay for publishing the story.
“These good-for-nothing fools should know that what is important about rules is not their dogma, but how they bend,” he said.
Moyo refused to speak to NewsDay when contacted for comment, but told New Zimbabwe that he supported the new rules.
“As a member of the party’s leadership, I fully and unequivocally support the rule in question because it is right for the party and, in fact, has always been there sometimes in spirit and other times in letter,” he said.
“Now the idea is to have it both in letter and spirit.”
Phillip Chiyangwa, who as Mashonaland West provincial chairman was accused of being part of the Tsholotsho Declaration and subsequently expelled, said the rule on primary elections would also not affect him.
“You failed to interpret the statement,” he said referring to the NewsDay story.
“I have served the party for many years. The rule did not say five consecutive years.”