PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned subordinates in the ruling Zanu-PF party against vote manipulation during the party’s ongoing District Coordinating Committee (DCC) and primary elections.
The President convened a special meeting with provincial executive members, comprising youths, women and war veterans’ wings, where he warned leaders against manipulating the party constitution by imposing preferred candidates through vote buying and the use of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) voters’ roll in conducting primary and DCC elections.
The stern warning comes at a time when the revolutionary party is investigating cadres who caused chaos in the Kwekwe Central constituency during primary elections on October 3, where prospective party candidates, Kandros Mugabe was battling it out with 26-year-old Energy Dhala Ncube, in primary polls ahead of a by-election.
The primary elections were suspended indefinitely.
In an interview after the closed door meeting at the ruling party headquarters in Harare, Zanu PF secretary for Administration, Obert Mpofu, said the President urged provincial executive members to follow laid down party procedures at all times.
The meeting, Mpofu said, was called by President Mnangagwa to give direction to the party, especially the provincial leadership, on the appropriate mode of behaviour when conducting internal elections.
Mpofu said the President directed all party leaders to be fully conversant with the party’s constitution as it relates to the election of party leaders.
“It was a very important meeting, which was summoned by President Mnangagwa where he called all provincial chairpersons and their wings comprising the youth, women and the war veterans’ wings,” said Mpofu.
At the meeting, President Mnangagwa condemned the imposition of candidates, saying the electorate should choose their preferred representatives.
“He also strongly spoke about the internal party procedures and regulations as they relate to elections, and that this cannot be equated to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) process, which is meant for all political parties. He said at no point should the party use ZEC regulations on an internal selection process, but should use the party’s constitution, party regulations as they are reviewed by the party from time to time,” said Mpofu.
Apart from sticking to consitutionalism, the President spoke against vote buying, the use of money as a tool for canvassing for positions.
He said this conduct was an anathema to the party.
“We have a situation where people just emerge during elections, flogging and showing money to would-be voters or to the electorate to influence them to vote for a certain candidate of their choice or to those with money. That is unacceptable. It’s a dismissible offence,” Mpofu said.
The President urged members wanting to re-join the party to follow party rules and regulations.
“The President urged all members and former party members who want to re-join the party that they are welcome. However, he emphasised that there should adherence to party regulations and principles as has always been the case, that when you decide to rejoin the party you have to go through the process, which means you have to start from the cell upwards but not to be catapult to senior positions when you have at some point deserted the party.”
The party’s Secretary for Administration said the President cited discipline as the central cog that binds the party and should always be observed at all levels from ward to the Politburo level.
“All senior members should always carry the constitution of the party.Most of the problems which the party is having are due to ignorance of the party’s constitution,” he said.
The party is currently conducting DCC elections in the remaining eight provinces after the process was undertaken successfully in Harare and Bulawayo provinces.
The President reminded the party cadres the reinstatement of DCCs was raised and adopted at the 17th Annual National People’s Conference held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, from December 11 to 16, 2018.
“You recall that at the 17th National People’s Conference, which we held at Esigodini in December 2018, the party resolved to reinstate the DCC structures. This decision was made based on the need to give impetus and drive to party mobilisation as we accelerate the various programmes towards the achievement of Vision 2030.