Tendai Mugabe/Walter Nyamukondiwa, Harare Bureau
All is set for Zanu-PF primary election re-runs today in 15 constituencies where initial results were contested as the revolutionary party has corrected its mistakes, national commissar Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired) has said.
The re-run was ordered by the party after noting some irregularities in the primary elections held two weeks ago.
In Norton, where results were also disputed, Cde Chris Mutsvangwa is now the party’s candidate after Cde Langton Mutendereki pulled out from the race.
Voting is expected to start at 7am and the party’s commissariat department yesterday confirmed that everything was now in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polls.
In an interview, Cde Rugeje said: “It’s all systems go. We are ready. We have corrected our mistakes. We have corrected the anomalies that were there.
Everything is in place. Currently we are verifying cell registers and ballot papers are already in place and are well secured at nearest police stations.
“At 7am people should start voting. As I am talking to you now, I am actually in Shamva to see that things are in order.”
Commenting on his withdrawal from the Norton primary election re-run, Cde Mutendereki said he made the decision in the best interest of the party.
He said he was now backing Cde Mutsvangwa’s candidature.
“Yes, I have withdrawn my candidature from the primary election re-run,” he said.
“We can’t continue fighting for primary elections yet we have a general election that is coming. We need time to prepare for the general election so I decided to withdraw for the sake of progress in the party. I am now backing Cde Mutsvangwa as the party’s candidate and remember the general elections are just two months away from now.”
He said continued bickering over primary elections would give ammunition to the opposition to attack the ruling party.
Mashonaland West is topping the list of primary elections re-runs with six constituencies conducting the plebiscite today. The constituencies are Chegutu East, Chegutu West, Zvimba North, Zvimba South, Chinhoyi and Makonde, where 94 polling centres and 189 officers have been identified.
In Mashonaland Central, primary elections re-run are being held in Shamva North, Shamva South and Mazowe women’s quota while in Midlands the polls are in Shurugwi
Chipinge Central and Buhera West are the only constituencies where re-runs are being conducted in Manicaland province.
In Harare, the re-runs are in Harare South and Kambuzuma and Hwata senatorial constituency in the women’s quota.
The re-runs will affect the final senatorial, women’s quota and provincial council results in the affected constituencies.
The primary elections re-run a coming after the revolutionary party has launched its campaign for the harmonised elections.
On Friday President Mnangagwa called on party members to go out in full force campaigning for the party to ensure a resounding victory. He urged party members to campaign peacefully using persuasive means to win the hearts of the people.
Addressing a Mashonaland West Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting on Saturday, member of the national elections committee (NEC) Cde Munyaradzi Machacha called for peaceful and transparent elections.
“We do not want apathy and that can only happen when people who are not wanted by the people are selected,” he said.
“We want the process to be free and fair. Let the people express themselves and choose a candidate of their choice. This time we do not want any nonsense. Let people vote peacefully without being intimidated by anyone.”
He said aspiring candidates will not be allowed in polling stations but they will be represented by their agents while the process will be supervised by retired army personnel, war veterans and party officials from headquarters and other provinces.
“This time we are using a different team which is made up of the war veterans, retired soldiers, and staff from Zanu-PF headquarters,” he said.
“The police will provide security and escort the staff and ballot materials going to and coming from the polling stations. We are reliably informed that in Mashonaland West there are cases of thugs who ran away with ballot papers or disturbed the entire voting process.”
Cde Machacha, who is also the principal director of Herbert Chitepo Ideological College, said the election process would be conducted by people from other provinces.
The election was preceded by a cell verification programme and constituency rallies yesterday
Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi urged party members to display maturity during the poll rerun.
“We should not embarrass our province by indulging in unbecoming behaviour. Let the voting process progress well and we should not witness or hear any issues of violence,” he said.
Cde Ziyambi also condemned some losing candidates who mobilised people to demonstrate during the PCC meeting saying it was an act of political immaturity.
He urged losing candidates to accept the result and move forward for the benefit of the party.
Cde Mutsvangwa, who is also special advisor to the President, took the opportunity to elaborate further on the party’s manifesto which was launched more than a week ago by President Mnangagwa.
He took a swipe at the G40 cabal for failing to create two million jobs promised in its 2013 election manifesto. “Everyone was hurt by Cde Mugabe’s regime which failed to create quality jobs despite having promised the nation that in its 2013 election manifesto,” he said.
“Others tried to support the former president saying he had managed to create informal employment.
“His rule destroyed Zimbabwe’s modern economy. We used to have a functional economy which was anchored on how industry was run; transportation business was based on time which had a positive result on the economy.
“After he connived with the G40 corrupt cabal, the transport sector became a menace as congestion has become the order of the day. That on its own is a drawback to progress and the economy. That is the reason why we still have a lot of children crossing the borders in search of employment.”
Cde Mutsvangwa said Zanu-PF aims at structuring a formal economy and employment creation.
“Our party will create jobs that show that we are making progress as a nation. Children should be motivated to study academically knowing that after finishing their courses they will be able to get employment.
“The manifesto is very scientific and has a lot of researches in it; as it is following the trends currently being followed by the developed countries,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He urged party officials to be conversant with the party’s manifesto as it was going to face scrutiny from other political parties.
Later, winning MPs and Senatorial candidates were presented to the PCC and congratulated before being urged to work hard in their areas for a Zanu-PF victory.