Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
ZANU-PF is issuing new electronic party cards after phasing out those emblazoned with former President Cde Robert Mugabe’s picture.
Addressing party members during a commissariat rally in Nhwali, Gwanda South last week, the party’s National Commissar Lieutenant General (Rtd), Engelbert Rugeje said the design of the new cards would stop the problem of treating a leader like a god.
The new cards are linked to ZimSwitch through POSB and can be used as bank cards.
“We now have new party cards. Those electronic cards issued last year have former President Mugabe’s picture. We have now removed sekuru’s (Mugabe’s) picture and replaced it with the party’s flag because the problem we were now having with Mugabe is that we were treating him like he is a god.
“What we prioritise is the party because there is no one who will occupy office forever. Zanu-PF will always be there but people come and go. That’s why we resolved to affix the party flag on the cards rather than people’s faces,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.
He said the party was grappling with loads of party regalia inscribed with Cde Mugabe’s face which they have no clue on how to dispose of.
Director for Commissariat, Cde Kizito Kuchekwa, weighed in saying that the new electronic party cards are being rolled out to the provinces.
“We are changing the party cards. We are putting the party logo of Great Zimbabwe ruins and party flag. The picture that will be on the card is that of the owner of the card.
“That card is now a bank card, meaning it has a number of facilities linked to ZimSwitch so you can deposit money into that card. Then you can use it to pay bills, swipe groceries like any other bank card,” he said.
He said since most people do not have the cards at the moment they will use cell registers to vote in the forthcoming primary elections because it contains all details of the party member.
“So make sure that you are in the cell register to vote in the [primary] elections,” he said.
He encouraged party members who have not yet registered to go to district offices to register to vote.
Meanwhile, Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje urged party members to vote for progressive leaders who are development-oriented in the forthcoming party primary elections.
He said the primary elections should not divide the party as used to happen in old times.
“Drawing experience from previous elections we always destroy the party during primary elections because we will be fighting each other.
“That is why we have declared that when there are 10 candidates vying for the councilor’s post, you will all campaign together at once. The co-ordinator will plan a programme and if you are not there it’s your own problem, you can’t campaign on your own,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.
He said in the forthcoming primary elections aspiring candidates have to say out their plans for the electorate rather than politicking and insulting other candidates.
“We want aspiring candidates to campaign together at once. It helps us be united and avoid conflict as well as hate speech because other candidates don’t have anything to use for the campaign except insulting others.
“Come with your programme, that’s all we want. If you have a programme why do you want to say it when you are alone? Stand up and tell us that you want to construct a clinic, a borehole or bridge,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.
“It’s then up to the electorate to choose what they would prioritise, either a bridge or clinic. You will only choose candidates focused on development not because they are a good singer or orator. We want development.”
He said candidates must come up with projects that benefit communities.
“Let’s elect people who bring development in our constituencies. We want people who bring projects that benefit us all not a few people.
“I am not against soccer tournaments but we want things that are permanent so that we will remember them always,” said Rtd Lt Gen Rugeje.