PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF will today announce its guidelines and date for its internal selection process ahead of the general elections expected in the next four months, NewsDay has been told.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Party national commissar Lieutenant General (Rtd) Engelbert Rugeje yesterday said the dates for the Zanu PF primary elections and the guidelines will be made public today.
“You will be told tomorrow (today). The secretary for information (Simon Khaya Moyo) will convene a press briefing for that purpose,” Rugeje said.
The Zanu PF politburo was initially expected to meet yesterday but the indaba hung in the balance because Mnangagwa is out of the country attending the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
“After last week’s meeting we were told that there would be another meeting this week to discuss and approve the primary elections guidelines. Everyone is waiting for them and there was supposed to be an announcement today. However, all this seems to now hinge on either the President returning early which is now highly unlikely or the meeting being pushed to tomorrow (today),” said a politburo member on condition they are not identified.
While officially Zanu PF has insisted no one was allowed to campaign, there has already been intense jockeying for constituencies across the country. Reports indicate that serving and retired soldiers dominated the list of aspiring candidates in a fresh wave of interest buoyed by the military intervention last November that led to former President Robert Mugabe’s removal.
Reports claim that Foreign Affairs minister Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo, his Agriculture counterpart Retired Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, Rugeje lead a host of other senior military officials who are suddenly pushing to become legislators in the country’s ninth Parliament.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Douglas Mahiya was forced to flee from Harare South constituency after youth aligned to a retired Major Leonard Tagwirei, rejected him together with one Tongai Mnangagwa, a relative of the President.
War veterans’ district chairperson Daniel Chitsanga told NewsDay Tongai was “not welcome here”.
“We have not made a definitive decision on the issue of candidates. The party is still to decide and there might be more people willing. But it’s true we met and talked about these issues. We will meet again and this time we are likely to invite all those interested in the constituency.
“However we must send a clear message that Tongai is not welcome. We would not want to create another dynasty by having people using their proximity to power as a way of imposing themselves on the people. We rejected that kind of politics under Mugabe and will not allow that to happen ever again,” Chitsanga said.