By Takunda Maodza
Zanu-PF has planted a seed of internal party democracy by holding primary elections in a different manner, and whatever challenges faced are part of efforts at firmly rooting democratic ethos in the revolutionary party, President Mnangagwa has said.
In statement yesterday, the Zanu-PF President and First Secretary vowed that the ruling party will resoundingly win harmonised elections due soon.
“As we inch nearer and nearer the Harmonised National Elections which will fall due in a few months’ time, our national people’s party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) is gradually, but inexorably putting its ducks in a row for this plebiscite which it is set to win resoundingly,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the programme of preparing Zanu-PF for the elections started with meetings and many internal processes across the country, which culminated in the primary elections.
“What set these party primary elections apart from those we have had in the past is the fact that these have been conducted under the auspices of a newly-created arm of our party, the Party Elections Commission, which we commissioned recently in order to professionalise our candidate selection process, so we deepen our party’s internal democratic traditions,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Whatever teething problems we have experienced so far and we have noted them closely, we remain convinced that the democratic course we have started in the management of our party affairs is the correct one, indeed one befitting a party of our history, our strength, and our stature.”
President Mnangagwa said it should be noted that Zanu-PF was the party of national liberation, governing national affairs.
“This means our responsibilities in shaping and reshaping the national body politic, as well as the national democratic and electoral ethos, can never be shirked or overstated,” he said
“As the ruling party, the democratic content and standards of our processes define and pre-ordain our national politics.
“We thus must not fear to widen the scope and play of the elective ethic in our party affairs and processes.
“Whatever challenges we face in the interim must thus be in the direction of firmly rooting the democratic ethos which, after all, we planted in the land through our historical sacrifices as a party of national liberation.”
President Mnangagwa said the turnout in the primary elections was overwhelming.
“Far more poignant than the teething problems we have encountered in this internal selection project is the overwhelming turnout of our people who have registered their enthusiasm and keenness to participate in this process, which after all, they see as guaranteeing their successful election in the forthcoming plebiscite,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the primary elections had displayed Zanu-PF’s strength.
“Equally, our capacity to compete against one another in a non-antagonistic, comradely way has been demonstrated,” he said. “We have thus sown a seed of internal party democracy; we have thus successfully tested our cohesion as members of the same political family.
“And because of both, we have just sent clear signals to those who have chosen to pit themselves against the sheer might of our party.”
President Mnangagwa – who is the Zanu-PF presidential candidate – said the ruling party would soon launch its manifesto, marking the start of its campaign programme, “which must be conducted in an environment of continued unity and total peace”.
He said Zanu-PF wanted a free, fair and uncontested result.
“As Zanu-PF, this is our obligation to our nation, indeed our pledge to the rest of the world,” said President Mnangagwa.