Bid to scuttle Joice Mujuru

HARARE - Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement that the Zanu PF presidium will be determined by a secret ballot has been viewed as a ploy to scuttle Vice President Joice Mujuru at the December elective congress.

While the “one-man one-vote” system was at the centre of President Robert Mugabe’s bitter complaints after it had marred the youth league vote through ballot fraud, the Zanu PF legal secretary’s insistence that this is the model to be followed has set alarm bells that his supporters were hoping to use the secret ballot to push through their candidate(s) at the key congress.

Even though some party functionaries and analysts have okayed the secret ballot, saying there was nothing sinister about it since it had been in use from years ago, Mugabe’s party has not used the model in electing its leaders and specifically the presidium in recent years.

Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, yesterday refused to comment on the issue when contacted by the Daily News and referred further questions to the party legal affairs secretary.

“On that one (electoral model) you must talk to Mnangagwa, he is the one responsible for legal issues.”

While efforts to obtain comment from Mnangagwa were futile yesterday, he told the State media at the weekend: “That is what the Constitution says. If you read the Constitution, it says delegates at the Congress will vote through the one-man-one vote (system).”

However, concerns abound that those sympathetic to the ex-Defence minister and other groups vying for power are hoping to use the secret ballot to cover lost political ground in the race to succeed the 90-year-old Mugabe.

In the aftermath of last year’s provincial executive elections and the youth league conference in August, there have been widespread views that several Mujuru loyalists had swept the deck, thus firmly placing her to succeed the ageing president whenever he chooses to leave power or is incapacitated.

And as the internecine succession wars escalate, the Zanu PF number two’s rivals have been using various measures to narrow the gap, and this has been evident in the complaints that have even sucked in Mugabe.

For a man perpetually linked to a duel with Mujuru, the timing of Mnangagwa’s “statement” has raised great suspicion.

While some analysts say the secret ballot was key in democratising Zanu PF, others said Mujuru may still come out tops.

Alex Magaisa, a legal expert, yesterday told the Daily News that those pushing for the secret ballot are banking on the belief that they stand a better chance where individuals are allowed to vote on their own than where they make a choice by popular acclamation as has been the case over the years.

Magaisa said if a secret ballot is used, they can wage a campaign to win support, confident that voters will not be intimidated and will be free to make their choices.

He said legally, the national Constitution establishes the principle of voting by secret ballot and that one could easily use the legalistic approach in order to be seen to be complying with constitutional standards.

“Politically, however, I think they are trying to pre-empt use of the acclamation method which has been used before to retain Mugabe,” Magaisa said.

“To my knowledge there has never been an election for the presidium. The closest they have come is by way of acclamation. But then that is tantamount to rule by the mob. So many dissenting voices would have been buried under the chorus of acclamation in respect of a nominee.”

On the other hand, political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said Zanu PF had always had the secret ballot model and that nothing would change.

Mandaza said results of the December congress would confirm what came out of the youth league elections.

“It’s not anything new,” he said.

“The results will confirm the youth results because the same system was used and those who alleged vote buying will be left with egg on face,” said Mandaza, adding that the party had used the same method even at the 1984 congress.

Comments (20)

Who ever organised Nikuv in the 2013 elections will win these Congress elections

s shumba - 9 September 2014

i hope this time Nikuv will not be hired again. The should look out for the type of paper that will be used.

moses bvira - 9 September 2014

If ZANU (PF) is a democratic party, then it is only fair and logical that the secret ballot is used. At least delegates will vote without any form of coercion from those vying for the positions being contested and ED is right in what he is saying. As a learned Lawyer, he is living true to his training and should be feted instead of being castigated.

Chief Charumbira - 9 September 2014

ZANU PF is not a democratic party.The will of the leader is going to prevail.All ZANU PF central committee & politibru members have accepted Grace's nomination only to please one man.There is just no DEMOCRACY in that Party.There is just no love for Zimbabweans in ZANU PF.

TAPERERWA HAMAWEE - 9 September 2014

When we read in the newspapers about the recently held ZANU Youth and Women's league ballot box stuffing and all such other methods of vote rigging, we assumed they were already using the one man-one vote ballot system. It's all coming as news to us when Mnangagwa tells us they will now be switching to use it as a new method. Mandaza is very correct, all the intimidation and vote rigging will still carry the day. What a bunch of clowns we have for our leaders.

Dr Know - 9 September 2014

I'm very sorry for Mai Mujuru.There won't be any fairness or sympathy for her. With Solomon Mujuru gone,her position is so vulnerable . Only God knows.

NDIWOMUTAMBO WACHO - 9 September 2014

Joyce and Emerson are stupid and this nation does not need them . For 34 yrs they have been in gvt and destroyed this country we do not need them at all fokofo .

Diibulaanyika - 9 September 2014

If Zaznu uses ballot then Mujuru can safely chaleenge Bob and i bet you she will win the Presidencey.So Mujuru go on go on and contest the president kwete zvana Ngwena mbwende dzinotya Gushungo kudero.Viva Joyce viva

tsvangirai mugabe - 9 September 2014

hus firmly placing her to succeed the ageing president ? ageing? i repeat!!! ahhh

warona - 9 September 2014

If the women's congress and youth league congress election were rigged obvious they were rigged in favour of Mai Mujuru handiti ndivi vane team yakawhina? So why should they be afraid of a secret ballot? It is only fair to have that and whoever did the 2013 June 31 elections can still do it and a landslide victory to one of them, mahwani.

maita - 10 September 2014

Nhai Mases Bvira, wati Nikuv ichaitwa hired here hanti Nikuv is now part and parcel of the home affairs dzenyika ino, they are based here and are now an integral part of the electoral system here.

shumba - 10 September 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 10 September 2014

you dailynews,why are u afraid of the secret ballot.is it because you far that your presidential candidate joyce mujuru will lose the election? why do u put a hedaline implying that if the secret ballot is used,its to joyce's disadvantage? there is no story here.maybe u guys know things we dont know.if joyce has support,why mourn about secret ballot? and why are you being her mouthpiece? WHY ARE U ALREDAY PREPARING FOR HER LOSS AND ARE RADY TO SAY IF SHE LOSES," WE TOLD YOU SO ?".joyce bought votes thru james makamba's money which he got from americans,british,australians etc and everybody knows it

ndoda sibili - 10 September 2014

Pamberi na mai Mujuru as long as bira richiitirwa mudunhu mavo (mash central)matovasimbisa. Viva Mai Mujuru.

gwandiba - 10 September 2014

gwandiba,u are a shame.if yu are a man,then shame on you.how can a country be ruled by a woman.better to put even chinotimba,or even chatunga chaiye except for morgan tsvangirai who is a puppet and just like a woman

ndoda sibili - 10 September 2014

@Ndoda sibili.Nyora nechindebele tipedzerane.Pamberi na cde Teurai Ropa Nhongo

Gwandibva - 10 September 2014

iwe gwandibva,nyora nechikaranga tipedzerane kana uchida.

ndoda sibili - 12 September 2014

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