No second chance for 'party rebels': Zanu PF

Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha

LOSING candidates in the Zanu PF primaries who choose to contest as independents in the August 23 polls will be expelled from the party for good, NewsDay has learnt.

This was one of the resolutions made at the just-ended Zanu PF five-day induction workshop held in Gweru.

Speaking at the workshop which was closed to the media, Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha (pictured) reportedly said losing candidates should wait for the next election to try their luck.

“So far I don't know any candidate who will contest as an independent candidate, but if you contest as an independent candidate, you would have automatically expelled yourself from the party," Bimha said.

“We have instances where years later those independent candidates would apply to be re-admitted to the party because it is cold out there but it will be a matter for a disciplinary hearing.”

“For those candidates who lost in the primary elections, they should wait for another election and President Emmerson Mnangagwa said there is no winner and there is no loser in the party and when the national chairperson (Oppah) Muchinguri addressed the matter, I was in Masvingo."

Some aspiring candidates feel they were unfairly kicked out of the race and are contemplating contesting as independent candidates.

Sources who attended the workshop told NewsDay that Muchinguri declared that all Zanu PF members who will contest as independent candidates will have automatically expelled themselves from the party.

“During the workshop, our national chairperson Muchinguri said all those members who want to contest as independent candidates will be expelled from the party for good,” said the source.

“She noted that some party members have been taking advantage (of the fact) that the party would forgive them later, but this time she said they will not tolerate party members who contest as independent candidates.”

The sources said a party feared that the independent candidates would split the vote in some constituencies and give the opposition an upper hand. In the past, party members who contested as independents would be suspended from the party for at least five years.

Several Zanu PF bigwigs lost in the chaotic primary elections last month following allegations of violence and rigging.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will conduct candidate nomination on June 21.

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