Zanu PF poll dispute spills into politburo

HARARE - ZANU PF failed to unveil its parliamentary election candidates for the forthcoming general elections at the launch of its elections manifesto yesterday due to disputes that rocked the internal polls held earlier this week.

Addressing delegates at the launch of the manifesto in Harare yesterday, party leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the candidates would only be unveiled after the politburo has considered complaints raised by some losing candidates.

Mnangagwa said he had noted the problems that dogged the polls and was not going to allow contentious election results to stand.

“The last few weeks have seen our party undergo processes to strengthen its internal democratic systems and culminated in the holding of the primary elections from

April 29 to May 3, 2018 under the newly created Zanu PF national elections commission.

“Whatever teething problems we have experienced so far, we have noted them closely. This is why we will not announce the final list of the candidates today since the politburo will be meeting tomorrow (today) to go through the results in order for us to look at all the challenges that have been faced during the primaries.

“We remain convinced that the democratic course we have started in the management of our party is the correct one. We must guard against those with ulterior motives who might seek to undermine these democratic systems we have introduced,” said Mnangagwa.

“We have widened the general playing field and the right of members to choose and be chosen through democratic internal electoral process. The right to universal suffrage is sacred and is enshrined in our party constitution.

“Leaders must always come from the people, this is a principle, together with fairness, justice, right to freely elect leaders and to stand in party elections must be entrenched in our party’s internal democratic tenets and never deviated from,” he said.

He added that the politburo would not allow imposition of candidates as what happened in some constituencies where elections will be re-run.

“The days of imposition, chicanery and favouritism in our internal processes are dead and buried; never to be resurrected again no matter the person’s status or standing.

“The primary elections have come and gone, although we may have to direct a few re-runs. The party is bigger than individual members.

“It is a mass party; you cannot fit it in your pockets, it will prove to be too hot for you and you will bring it out,” he said urging Zanu PF members to set aside their glaring differences and work together to ensure that it wins the general elections.

Upon revealing that elections would have to be re-run in some constituencies, the party’s 3 000 delegates to the launch of the manifesto gave Mnangagwa — Zanu PF’s presidential candidate in the harmonised polls — rapturous applauses.

The emergency meeting of the politburo will be held today at the ruling party’s national headquarters in Harare.

The elections were marred by allegations of skulduggery, violence and rigging.

Mnangagwa also spelt out the Zanu PF manifesto, which is built around the same campaign mantras it has been using in previous election campaigns.

The manifesto treads the old paths of seeking to improve the health, housing and education facilities among other social amenities in the country.

It also commits a Zanu PF government to accelerating economic development by courting investment in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, mining and other sectors of the economy.

Mnangagwa also promised that if elected, his Zanu PF government would be committed to improving the working conditions of civil servants; although this could raise the ire of disgruntled State employees, particularly the nurses who were recently fired after staging an industrial action.

School teachers were also threatened with the axe after they gave notice of their intention to go on strike.

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