Scores of Zanu-PF members who filed their nomination papers as independent candidates ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections successfully withdrew from the race following a directive from the party’s leadership.
In Mashonaland West Province, at least 20 such aspiring House of Assembly members filed their papers at the Nomination Court recently.
A further 49 aspiring councillors filed their papers as independent candidates throughout the province.
Addressing the Mashonaland provincial coordinating committee meeting in Chinhoyi recently, Zanu-PF national secretary for administration Cde Obert Mpofu said no one can claim to love President Mnangagwa and stand as an independent.
“Even as we have come here, there are a lot of those who filed their papers as independent candidates throughout the country who are withdrawing them.
“We are expecting more withdrawals to come through and even more from Mashonaland West,” he said.
Cde Mpofu also extended an apology to aggrieved members of the party after the primary elections held last month.
He said even the national political commissar Cde Engelbert Rugeje had also apologised for the manner in which the primary elections were conducted and the resultant challenges.
“I want to assure you the commissar, Cde Rugeje, has apologised and I am also apologising on behalf of the party for what happened and I am doing so knowing that all of us here, including those who filed as independents subscribe to Zanu-PF,” he said.
“They (aggrieved members) like Zanu-PF, but they were forced by circumstances to do what they did. Of course, there are infiltrators and we cannot rule that one out. But let’s separate those who want to destabilise the party from those that are genuine members.”
He said Mashonaland West Province should go back to being a province that adheres and upholds the principles and directives of the party.
Some of the challenges in the party, Cde Mpofu said, emanated from the leadership, with indications that most of the discord in the various provinces was a result of actions of some Politburo and Central Committee members.
He said President Mnangagwa sent him on a fact-finding mission following a high number of people who filed their papers as independent candidates.
“The President is saying Cde Mpofu bring back the lost sheep, the lost goats and cattle.
“Let us be magnanimous and persuade those who went against the party. Some people ignore guidelines and regulations to suit their interest and those of their relatives and friends. That is unacceptable,” he said.
There were parallel candidates in at least eight wards in Mashonaland West Province.
“That is not a good sign for a province that was once revered as a one party province. This is an indictment not of those that are doing that, but those that are leading the process,” he said.
Provincial chairman Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said most the problems affecting the province were because the former president Mugabe and some of the senior members hailed from the province.
This, he said has seen some sympathisers causing confusion.