By Tendai Mugabe
Zanu — PF candidates contesting in Sunday’s primary elections have been given the green light to start their campaigns after their respective provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meetings held yesterday. However, for the first time, the ruling party has made it mandatory for aspiring candidates to jointly sell their policies to the electorate.
Candidates who break the rules will be automatically disqualified.
Names of the approved candidates were officially released at various provincial headquarters yesterday and the campaigns run until Saturday.
In separate interviews, Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons confirmed that campaigning began soon after yesterday’s PCC meetings.
Harare provincial chairman Cde Godwills Masimirembwa said; “We had our PCC today where we announced the list those who qualified to contest in the primary elections
“People are going to campaign as teams and we have 146 candidates for House of Assembly positions, 31 for Senate and 23 for the women’s quota.
“The primary elections are going to be conducted by the national elections commission and our role as the provincial leadership is to ensure that our cell registers are up to date because they are the ones that will be used as the voters’ roll. The national elections commission will be visiting our province on Wednesday to vet our cells.”
In the Midlands, provincial chairman Cde Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said campaigning was already in motion.
“We had our PCC today (yesterday) and I have to dismiss people early so that they can go and start campaigning,” he said.
“The meeting was aimed at announcing the approved list of candidates. The message that we gave to all the candidates is that they should campaign peacefully, respecting our party constitution.
“We don’t have any preferred candidate as far as Midlands is concerned because all the approved names are all equal party members. The best candidate should come from the people. We also told the candidates that the position of the party is that they should campaign together and as we speak, the campaign has already kicked off.”
Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Ezra Chadzamira said the major item on the agenda of yesterday’s PCC meeting was to announce the names of approved candidates.
“We announced the final list and as far as the campaign is concerned, we tell the candidates that they should move together selling their policies to the people,” he said.
“They should talk about development and what they have done for their areas and what they are planning to do if they win in the forthcoming elections. There is no need to de-campaign each other.”
In Mashonaland West, provincial chair Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said: “We have gone with the list of approved candidates and the elections are going to be held on Sunday. The PCC said people should move as teams campaigning together.”
It was the same in Mashonaland Central where provincial chairman Cde Kazembe Kazembe said: “It was simply a feedback meeting on who qualified and who didn’t. We also outlined the formula that candidates are going to use when campaigning. No candidate is allowed to campaign alone as that may result in disqualification. At the end of the day, we should know that we are all Zanu-PF members and everything that we do should leave the party united. There is no room for character assassination.”
Cde Kazembe said the provincial leadership only received one complaint from Mazowe South, where one candidate alleged that the cell registers were tampered with.
He said they had already set an independent team not directly involved in the elections to go and investigate the veracity of the allegation.