Zanu PF outlines election guidelines

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has unveiled a number of guidelines for participating in the impending party congress, effectively new arrivals.

Persons wishing to be elected in the party’s central committee and women’s league should have no less than 15 consecutive years in the party.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party secretary for Legal Affairs, who also chairs a committee that came up with the controversial requirements, told a press briefing at the party’s headquarters yesterday that one “must have served in the party structures for a period of not less than 15 consecutive years, five of which one must have served as a provincial executive member” in order to qualify to stand for the elections.

Zanu PF members who meet the requirements “shall apply to stand and shall be vetted and cleared by the national elections directorate (Ned)” prior to campaigning.

The Ned is chaired by the party’s national chairperson Simon Khaya-Moyo, who also addressed the press conference.

Moyo said at least 4 000 people are expected to descend on Harare for the elective congresses.

“It was a productive politburo meeting that discussed the qualifications for elections with a few amendments,” Moyo said.

The central committee and the women’s league will hold their elections between August 20 and 23.

The youth league will hold elections from August 7 to 14.

According to the set of regulations read by Mnangagwa, those wishing to stand for elections in the youth league, “must be 35 years of age or below on the day of elections; must have served in the national executive of the youth league before; must have served as a provincial executive member for five years or more; must not have subject to criminal conviction or insolvency; must not have been found guilty and convicted by the party disciplinary proceedings during the past five years.”

The congresses, which are precursors to the watershed congress that will be held in December, will be held in Harare.

Insiders told the Daily News yesterday that the qualifications required by the ruling party have affected both Mnangagwa and Vice President Joice Mujuru — the two frontrunners to succeed 90-year old Mugabe — who both have some influential party backers that are short of meeting the requirements.

Serving members appear to have already secured participating berths as the party regulations guarantee their participation.

It will be smooth sailing for incumbents, who will be eyeing re-election to their positions.

With most of the party heavyweights now considerably old, there has been an emergence of youthful personalities possessing both the charisma and financial muscle to rise through the ranks, but the requirements have not been relaxed to accommodate them,  raising concerns that the ruling party was  not keen to renew its structures.


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