FORMER Information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and other Zanu PF “prodigal sons” will have to pray for the party’s benevolence to stand as candidates in the forthcoming elections as regulations that were recently drafted by the politburo state that one must have been a party member for five years to be eligible.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Zanu PF meets this week to finalise its guidelines for primary elections, but a draft leaked to our sister paper Southern Eye at the weekend shows that Moyo’s stint as MP for Tsholotsho North might be coming to an end.
According to section 8.4 of the draft titled Qualifications for candidates in Local Authority and National Assembly elections, no member of the party shall qualify to stand as a candidate unless one “has served in the party as an office bearer in any of the structures of the party for a cumulative period of at least five years prior to the primary elections”.
Moyo was only readmitted into the party at the end of 2009 after he was expelled in 2005 for defying a party directive to pave way for a female candidate in Tsholotsho.
Any aspiring candidate must also be “a fully paid-up member of the party, have adequate political, economic, cultural and social knowledge of Zimbabwean affairs to enable him to contribute meaningfully to debates in the institution which he has become a member (and) is a good person of character.”
Moyo contested the 2008 parliamentary elections as an independent candidate before rejoining Zanu PF in 2009.
A fortnight ago, Zanu PF said the regulations were 95% complete with the only outstanding issue being the female candidates’ quota.
However, there were reports divisions had emerged over attempts to bar the so-called Young Turks from challenging the old guard.
There were also claims that senior Zanu PF leaders were eager to prevent those who they described as disloyal from standing on the party ticket.
Last year when it first emerged that the Zanu PF old guard was sweating to sideline aspiring candidates who had recently been readmitted after some years in the cold for various transgressions, Moyo said the party would bend the rules for him.
He was quoted by online publications saying: “The fact is that all rules have exceptions in order to avoid breaking because a rule or ruler that does not bend breaks!”
Moyo was not reachable for comment yesterday.
Another casualty could be Phillip Chiyangwa, who is eyeing a seat in Chinhoyi. Chiyangwa was frozen out of Zanu PF after he participated in the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration where party chairpersons were accused of plotting to topple Mugabe.
Those disqualified by the regulations on account of years served would have to plead their cases to Zanu PF’s national elections directorate, the document says.
The requirement will only be waived if the aspiring candidate “is known to be a fervent, consistent and active supporter of the party and the party’s aims and objectives as spelt out in Article 2 of the constitution and has been a member of the party for a period of not less than five years”.
The national elections directorate is chaired by Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo who might decide Moyo’s fate.