PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday acknowledged the “teething problems” that blighted Zanu PF’s primary elections in the past two days, describing them as a necessary development necessary for the ruling party’s “democratic course”.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Mnangagwa, in a statement to mark the end of the party’s chaotic internal polls, which saw ballot papers arriving late at most polling stations, while some candidates and their supporters failed to vote as their names were not on the roll, said they would use the mistakes to thoroughly prepare for the upcoming general elections.
In some constituencies, there were reports of vote-rigging and destruction of ballot papers as supporters protested against irregularities in the polls.
“Whatever teething problems we have experienced so far – and we have noted them closely – we remain convinced that the democratic course we have started in the management of our party affairs is the correct one, indeed one befitting a party of our history, strength and our stature.
“Whatever these initial challenges, it must never be lost to us that we are the party of national liberation which is governing national affairs. This means our responsibilities in shaping and reshaping the national body politic, as well as the national democratic and electoral ethos, can never be shirked or overstated.”
The President added: “Whatever challenges we face in the interim must thus be in the direction of firmly rooting the democratic ethos which, after all, we planted in the land through our historical sacrifices as a party of national liberation. Far more poignant that the teething problems we have encountered in this internal selection project is the overwhelming turnout of our people who have registered their enthusiasm and keenness to participate in this process which, after all, they see as guaranteeing their successful election in the forthcoming plebiscite … Equally, our capacity to compete against one another in a non-antogonistic, comradely way has been demonstrated.”
Mnangagwa said the primary elections had helped in testing the members’ cohesion and sent clear signals to their detractors that Zanu PF had the political stamina to weather any storm that comes its way.
He disclosed that the party would soon launch its election manifesto and urged party members to ensure a resounding victory “so we secure a result which is free, fair and uncontested”.