By Felex Share
The Zanu-PF Politburo yesterday approved the revolutionary party’s election manifesto for this year’s harmonised elections and released rules and regulations governing the conduct of primary elections.
The primary elections will be used to select Zanu-PF National Assembly, senatorial, local authority and women’s quota candidates for the polls expected to be held by the end of July.
The Zanu-PF extraordinary session of the Politburo yesterday said the national cell verification would be done on Sunday.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the date for the primary elections would be announced soon.
“The chairperson of the party, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, gave a detailed report on the election manifesto and the party regalia,” he said.
“The report, after extensive discussions, was welcomed by the Politburo and approved.
“Politburo member Advocate Jacob Mudenda, on behalf of the secretary for legal affairs Cde Paul Mangwana, presented the rules and regulations governing the conduct of primary elections.
“The Election Commission to be chaired by Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired), who is also the national political commissar, will supervise the entire election process.
“The President will announce the names of other members of the commission soon. We implore those who wish to stand not to start campaigning.”
On the national cell verification day, he said: “It has been scheduled for March 25, 2018 at all Zanu-PF cells across the country.
“Each and every member should report to their cells to ensure their names appear.”
Turning to the primary election guidelines, Cde Khaya Moyo said all aspiring candidates were expected to campaign as a team.
“If you are more than one in a constituency, you move together, addressing all the meetings earmarked for that particular constituency,” he said.
“You present yourself and lay out what you have to offer in case you are elected. People will be listening and will be making up their minds whether you have anything to offer or nothing.
“No one will be going alone to campaign. This curbs corruption and the use of money.”
All contesting provincial and district candidates, he said, should not run any elections.
“All constituencies and provinces are being urged to ensure that there will be no imposition of candidates,” he said.
He said for all the categories one should be a registered voter, 18 years and above, a fully paid-up party member and must be loyal to the revolutionary party.
Candidates must also have adequate political, economic, cultural and social knowledge of Zimbabwean affairs to enable them to contribute meaningfully to debates in their relevant portfolios.
In addition, candidates should be of good standing and character in society.
Said Cde Khaya Moyo: “For one to contest in National Assembly and women’s quota elections, one must have served in the province as a provincial member for a minimum of five years.
“In local authority elections, he or she should have served in the district effectively for a minimum of five years.
“Senate, unlike the National Assembly, is done on proportional representation in terms of how many votes each party gets per given province.”
He said for senatorial elections, each province would be divided into six geographical units, whose boundaries resemble those of the current senatorial constituencies.
“Elections shall be held in each of the six geographical units, whose boundaries are already known,” Cde Khaya Moyo.
“Two candidates, comprising a man and woman who have received the highest votes in each such senatorial constituency, shall stand nominated to the party list.
“In the end, out of the 12 candidates, the choice shall be by secret ballot in each senatorial constituency and all members of the party shall be legible to vote as constituted from the voters cell register.”
He said seniority would be determined by the current position in the party.
“There will obviously be applications for waivers and those shall be looked at by the respective organs,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
“There will also be disqualifications, whose reasons include de-campaigning another member. Those who stand as independent candidates after losing primaries will automatically expel themselves from the party. We expect those who will have lost to support the winner.”
“Veterans of the liberation struggle who desire to contest for any of the aforementioned positions shall qualify to stand for elections. They make their applications, some will qualify some will not.”
The final list of candidates will be approved by the Central Committee.
Cde Khaya Moyo went on: “After receiving these guidelines from national commissar, provincial chairpersons shall call their provincial councils and provincial coordinating committees to ensure the rules are understood by everybody. They are for all of us and not a secret.”