Sunday, 8 April 2018


LOSING candidates in the beckoning Zanu-PF primary elections will automatically assume the role of campaign managers for the winning candidates ahead of the forthcoming harmonised elections this year, the party’s Commissariat has said.

This comes as the party has also adopted a new system for primary election campaigns where two or more candidates in one constituency will campaign at the same rally. Addressing party supporters at Davies Hall in Bulawayo yesterday, Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Dr Engelbert Rugeje said the era of losing candidates de-campaigning elected candidates was over. Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said losing candidates in primary elections should work with elected candidates to ensure the party’s victory in the imminent plebiscite. He impressed on the need for party members to work together for the greater good of the party.

“Losing candidates should be campaign managers for the winning candidate. That’s the new position. Those that will come out second best during primary elections should help the winners in their campaign. We don’t want to hear that losing candidates are campaigning against those that would have been elected to ensure the party wins resoundingly. We should be united and work together for the good of the party,” he said.

Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said party members should desist from slogans that denigrate other party members but should adopt slogans that promote unity and development. He said no party member was allowed to chant the “pasi na/ phansi lo” slogan to fellow party member or members of opposition parties. Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said instead of denigrating opposition members, Zanu-PF members should show them love and woo them to join the ruling party.

“Let’s not waste time chanting denigrating slogans. We want unifying slogans, slogans that encourage development. This whole pasi na/phansi lo, when you have differences with another party member is not allowed. We should not say pasi nemhandu to another person even if they are from the opposition. Let’s show them love. Everyone in Zimbabwe is a potential Zanu-PF supporter and our work as the Commissariat is to bring those people to the party,” he said.

Added Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje, “The President says Zimbabwe is open for business, likewise Zanu-PF is open for everyone”.

Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje also encouraged party members to remain peaceful ahead of primary elections and during the run up to the harmonised elections.

He said Zanu-PF would not tolerate intra-party violence as the party was out to lead by example in the campaign against political violence.

“Violence of whatever kind should be condemned, be it intra-party or inter-party violence. Let’s desist from pouring scorn on each other ahead of these primary elections. Let’s now unite as a party and show the world that we can work together for the good of the party. It’s said charity begins at home, so let’s lead by example,” said Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje.

On the party’s 2018 election manifesto which is expected to be out on Saturday, Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said the party was working on coming up with abridged and portable versions of the document. He said the manifesto will also be translated in all the country’s 16 official languages.

Meanwhile, the Zanu-PF Commissariat will this week deploy teams from the party headquarters to all provinces, except Harare, to carry out cell verification exercise as the party prepares for its primary elections ahead of the harmonised elections this year.

In a statement yesterday, Lt-Gen Rugeje said the exercise will start on Tuesday and end on Sunday. Harare Province, Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said, would be covered at date yet to be announced.

He said the exercise was meant to bring order and transparency in the party structures to create ground for free and fair elections. Cde George Nare will lead the team deployed to Bulawayo while Cde Omega Sipani Hungwe will lead the Manicaland team and Cde Apolonia Munzverengwi will lead the team in Midlands. In Matabeleland South Cde Lewis Matutu will be the team leader while Cde Kizito Kuchekwa leads the team in Mashonaland East and Cde Munyaradzi Machacha will lead the team in Masvingo.

Retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena will lead the team in Matabeleland North, while Cde Sydney Nyanungo will lead the team in Mashonaland West and Cde Etherton Shungu will be team leader in Mashonaland Central. Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje said each constituency was expected to prepare three duplicate cell registers around each specific polling station for the verification exercise. He said the verified registers will be used for primary elections.

Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje also directed provinces to identify six verification points in each constituency to aide smooth running of the exercise. He said provinces were also expected to select six officials in each constituency that will work with the deployed teams.

“Please be advised that the same verified register will be used during the forthcoming elections. The verification teams will collect copies of cell registers and submit them to the Commissariat Department at party headquarters,” he said.

Lt-Gen (Rtd) Dr Rugeje urged the party’s provincial chairpersons and provincial commissars to contact their respective team leaders for further details and clarifications. The Commissariat decided to embark on a cell verification exercise after party members in some provinces complained about aspiring candidates establishing parallel structures and registering their own voters. The party’s National Deputy Commissar Cde Omega Hungwe while addressing an inter-district meeting in Njube suburb in Bulawayo also urged party members to participate in the coming elections.

“We have elections and we are asking Bulawayo to vote for the President (Mnangagwa), we are grateful for the six MPs that we have in this province but now we want more. Bulawayo needs to vote and get a resounding victory in the elections since we have new leadership,” said Cde Hungwe.
She applauded President Mnangagwa’s Command Agriculture Programme that has seen the country’s food security improving and said he was a man of action and was the right candidate for the Presidential elections. Cde Hungwe, however, said some G40 cabal members need to be forgiven for their participation in the events before Operation Restore Legacy.

“Some of these G40 members need to be forgiven honestly, some of them were scared and were doing things outside their will, they deserve a chance,” she said. Sunday News


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