CHINHOYI — Zanu PF’s aspiring Chinhoyi MP and former provincial chairman Phillip Chiyangwa has described his party’s impending primary elections as the most divisive phase, adding the process was likely to widen the already existing rifts.
Report by Own Correspondent
Speaking at the weekend at a function to welcome party supporters who had defected to his rivals’ camp, Chiyangwa said Zanu PF risked losing the upcoming polls if there was imposition of candidates and wanton disregard of calls for certain candidates to stand on the party ticket.
“There is no other time that divides Zanu PF than the time for primary elections. Instead of them (primaries) being a gauge of the winning candidate’s popularity, they sow seeds of disunity.
“The divisions brought about by these contestations should be properly managed,” said Chiyangwa, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe.
“However, there are certain instances where some influential people within Zanu PF want to deliberately ignore the electorate’s calls for certain candidates to stand so that we win back the masses’ loyalty.
“While it is everyone’s democratic right to compete in primaries, there are constituencies such as Chinhoyi where the call is so loud and clear on whom the people want to represent Zanu PF and that person is myself. I repeat here today that I have never lost an election in my life. I am the Usain Bolt of elections who is good at photo finishes, I am unbeatable,” Chiyangwa said amid applause.
The former Chinhoyi MP called for unity among contestants in the primaries, urging Zanu PF to hold transparent, free and fair internal polls and avoid a repeat of the 2008 “Bhora Musango” phenomenon where party candidates decampaigned the party’s presidential candidate President Robert Mugabe.
This caused Mugabe to lose to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who, however, could not be declared outright winner as he failed to garner an outright majority. A resultant runoff election ended up being a one-man race after Tsvangirai pulled out at the eleventh hour citing persecution of his supporters. Mugabe then won the disputed poll culminating in the formation of a coalition government after the international community refused to recognise his victory.
Over the weekend, Chiyangwa said he would host a free music concert at Chinhoyi Stadium featuring prominent musicians Suluman Chimbetu, Jah Prayzah, Somandla Ndebele and Mathias Mhere, among others, dubbed Vharai Gedhi to shore up Zanu PF support in Mashonaland West province.
Chiyangwa will contest against Simba Kanzou, Richard Chafausipo, Mathew Magureyi and Samuel Mvurume in the Zanu PF primaries expected soon.