Zanu PF primary poll voters in massive drop

HARARE - Zanu PF’S 2018 primary election figures have significantly dropped in terms of the numbers of voters who participated compared to the previous poll in 2013, which could spell disaster for the ruling party.

While the party was not able to provide the tabulated figures from the primary elections, statistics gleaned by the Daily News show a huge decline in the number of people who voted in this year’s primary elections in certain key constituencies unlike in 2013 when the numbers were significantly high.

For example, Auxillia Mnangagwa — wife of President Emmerson Mnangagwa — won the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe poll with 17 000 votes in 2013, but Chrispen Tomu won the same constituency this year with 3 770 votes.

The decline of ruling party supporters was also recorded in most Zanu PF stronghold constituencies such as Uzumba, where in 2013 Simbaneuta Mudarikwa won with 9 413 votes while this year only 6 954 people cast their vote for the winning candidate in the party primaries.

In Chikomba West, Mike Bimha won by 4 986 votes in 2013, but Chamunorwa Mangwiro won this year with 4 097 votes.

While in 2013 Dexter Nduna won Chegutu West with 7 028 votes, this year he got a little over 2 000 votes.

In Matabeleland North, former Sports minister Andrew Langa won Insiza North with 5 917 votes in 2013, however, this year Farai Taruvinga only managed 1 525 votes to win the ruling party primaries.

During the same year, in Matabeleland South, Provincial Affairs minister Abednigo Ncube won Gwanda South with 2 513 votes while  Umpili Marubi won this year’s primary elections with 1 348 ballots.

The same scenario prevailed in Bulilima West when Lungisani Nleya garnered 1 663 ballots, while this year Nqobizitha Ndlovu won with only 960 votes and in Bulilima East, Mathias Siqhoza Ndlovu got 1 690 votes, while this year Dingimuzi Phuti got 980 votes.

Asked to comment, Zanu PF’s national spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo, said he did not have the figures at hand.

“I don’t have the figures myself,” he said.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said numerous  factors could have contributed to the decline in numbers, among them disillusionment in the party following the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe.

He said some of Mugabe’s supporters have defected to opposition political parties or splinter groups that came out of Zanu PF, among them Ambrose Mutinhiri’s National Patriotic Front.

“This shows an implosion in the party which the MDC Alliance can capitalise on. But we must not be naive to think this points to a straight MDC Alliance victory.

“In the same period 2013-18, the opposition has also gone through its own splits and we now have over three alliances and over 120 parties. So numbers at primaries may have also gone down for the MDC Alliance,” Saungweme said.

This is the first time that Zanu PF is participating in an election without Mugabe, who had been in power since the country got its independence from the British colonisers in 1980.

Mugabe resigned last November after a military intervention that was purportedly targeting criminals around him, ushering in Mnangagwa as the new president.

Over the years, Mugabe had led the country through force and coercion.

His policies were aimed at keeping himself in power through force and threats.

And some believe the spirit of fear that he inculcated in the citizenry was the force behind people’s participation in politics, particularly Zanu PF politics.

According to Saungweme, the drop in figures was no indicator or determinant of the national elections outcome.

“The MDC is still to go through its own primaries and attendant political problems and potential fissures and disillusionment from the outcomes.

“In addition, Zanu PF has uneven electoral field, monopoly and control over Zec (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) and where polling stations will be installed and where ballot papers will be printed plus the military fear factor on its side.

“While (MDC leader Nelson) Chamisa and MDC Alliance will win free and fair elections, we cannot see any free and fair elections that can happen in 2018 without reforms.

“We are likely going to see Zanu PF benefiting from rigging that has already started due to lack of reforms and the party winning by a narrow margin, triggering another government of national unity in which Chamisa will potentially be a prime minister) and official leader of the opposition in government,” Saungweme said.

With Zanu PF primaries exposing faulty lines within the party, amid reports of rigging, vote buying and other irregularities, battle lines have already been drawn.

Most of the party’s bigwigs and Mnangagwa’s allies fell by the wayside, in another scenario, many people interpreted as spelling doom for the ruling party.

Some of the losing candidates have threatened to drown the party in the forthcoming elections.

Political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa said the situation in Zanu PF, which also saw a drop in the number of voters indicates lack of preparedness within the ruling party.

“I think it indicates lack of preparedness on one hand and continued fierce factional fights within the ruling party. The results have exposed the structural weaknesses of their commissariat department.

“The prognosis that we can develop from this is that the harmonised elections might be marred with such issues because it is the same Zanu PF that will manage the elections.

“The results of their primaries might cause their disgruntled members to vote for MDC Alliance. The results also reveal that Zanu PF’s numbers have been a result of harvesting fear. Now it seems no one is taking that sinking titanic seriously,” Hamauswa said.

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu weighed in saying the decline in the number of voters was because the ruling party expelled several members.

“I think Zanu PF has gone through a number of internal raptures from the dismissal of (Joice) Mujuru and others, Mugabe and now divisions on primary elections.

“It is only fair to say the party has been bleeding supporters and has not had a cohesive leadership since 2008 with the bhora musango issue.

“Zanu PF will now need to enhance its unity and inclusiveness facing the 2018 elections. This will take immense leadership on the part of ED (Mnangagwa) and team,” said Mukundu.

Comments (2)

Vanhu vairohwa vachimanikidzwa kundovhota uye ukawanikwa usina kuenda waiziva urimutengesi gwaikozvino zvinenge zvatichinjei ndosaka vaenda vashoma . Mberengwa nguva yanaBig Chitoro ukasara waidana mai vakafe kare kana vakomana votsvaka vatengesi . Gwaikozvino ZANU hakuna chatinoda kuti ihwine kumaruzeva nemusiyano we1000 or 2000 unobva waziva yaenda kwamupfiga nehwe

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 7 May 2018

Vanhu vairohwa vachimanikidzwa kundovhota uye ukawanikwa usina kuenda waiziva urimutengesi gwaikozvino zvinenge zvatichinjei ndosaka vaenda vashoma . Mberengwa nguva yanaBig Chitoro ukasara waidana mai vakafe kare kana vakomana votsvaka vatengesi . Gwaikozvino ZANU hakuna chatinoda kuti ihwine kumaruzeva nemusiyano we1000 or 2000 unobva waziva yaenda kwamupfiga nehwe

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 7 May 2018

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