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Zanu PF bigwigs face the chop

Local News
Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha

ZANU PF says some ministers and party bigwigs might fall by the wayside in Saturday’s primary elections which were supposed to be held last week, but were called off at the 11th hour after it emerged that the party was unprepared to conduct them.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa caught party members off-guard when he gave aspiring candidates only a week to campaign before the polls were postponed.

Addressing a Press conference yesterday, Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha said Mnangagwa had directed that the primaries be held this weekend.

“As you are aware, the politburo met two days ago, on Monday, went through province by province, name by name on the CVs [curriculum vitaes] and what is of interest is a decision was made by the politburo to accept and recommend former members of the MDC and Citizens Coalition for Change who have recently come forward as returnees,” Bimha said.

“If you recall, we had a big event at Harare International Conference Centre, where returnees were welcomed by President Mnangagwa. The returnees submitted names of their candidates who want to contest in the primaries and the politburo allowed them to contest in the election.”

The run-up to the primaries has, however, been marred by reports of vote-buying and violence.

In Chegutu West, for example, supporters of the aspiring candidates, incumbent MP Dexter Nduna and his challenger Farai Chigavazira clashed on Monday, leaving many nursing injuries.

The case has been reported to police.

Bimha said violence and other electoral malpractices would not be tolerated.

“Anyone who did not meet the criteria must come to the party. We discourage any member from coming to block any candidate who makes the criteria. No one had any right at whatever level to say I should not be contested,” he said.

Names of successful candidates were announced yesterday at provincial co-ordination committee meetings presided over by senior politburo members.

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