Stop interfering or lose elections, Zimbabwe Defence Forces warn Zanu PF big wigs!

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Evidence that all is not well in the relationship between ZANU-PF and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) continues to mount.

Senior Zanu PF figures addressing rallies in the provinces have been stating that there would be no party primary elections and that instead, ZANU-PF candidates will be imposed by the party centre at Jongwe House in Harare. According to ZDF sources, this is causing concerns amongst the rurally deployed ZDF officials, who have been complaining to their superiors. At a ZANU-PF rally in February in Mutare (Manicaland), Didymus Mutasa – seen as one of Mugabe closest allies – told attendees that candidates would be imposed for elections by the party leadership, which triggered many attendees to leave in protest. Already Manicaland is a problem for ZANU-PF – I wrote in February about how the provincial youth chairperson challenged Mugabe at to deal with corruption in the party during Mugabe’s birthday celebrations.

Many within ZDF acknowledge in informal exchanges that it will be key to ZANU-PF’s survival for the outcome of internal party primary elections not to be openly dictated by senior party figures. They also warn that if ZANU-PF ignores this advice it risks losing the next elections. There is also talk within ZDF of how the growing friction between old and young ZANU-PF, as well as ZDF representatives, is increasing the threat of violence during primary elections which could prompt ZDF intervention.


The relationship between ZANU-PF and ZDF may not yet be at the stage of implosion but we are certainly seeing widening divisions stemming from the fight to control minerals, the internal Zanu PF success squabbles and now disputes over election tactics.

In related news, the recently completed elections for Provincial Chairperson for Mashonaland West used new procedures, such as voting at District level rather than transporting all voters to one central Provincial venue, increasing from three candidates to five per District and voting by secret ballot. It seems that some ZANU-PF seniors are recommending that these new procedures should be used for the party’s internal elections, including primaries. However, while they may have seemed to work smoothly for electing one Provincial Chairperson they might not work as smoothly in an election in which all posts in a province are being contested, let alone for heavily contested ZANU-PF primaries. Moreover, in practice, a shortage of ballot papers caused significant delay and inaccuracies in the vote, which meant that only a fraction of those eligible within the constituency were in fact able to vote. In a typical ZANU-PF elitist approach, senior ZANU-PF officials seem unconcerned by the possibility that people would miss out on the chance to vote.

Certainly it seems that we are being presented here with two contradictory viewpoints from within ZANU – on the one hand the introduction of a new system supposedly designed to improve internal party democracy; on the other strong public voices within ZANU hinting at a rejection of the principle of party primary and open intra-party competition for candidates. These inconsistencies and divisions offer opportunities for other political parties to exploit if they are to defeat ZANU-PF in the upcoming elections.

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    I am a perennial skeptic of party primaries – only that I have not ‘discovered’ how best to emerge with a ‘good’ candidate without internal competition. Yet the resultant negative fall-out and post primary acrimony does poison election campaigns, fuels hatred and promotes electoral sabotage [I’d call it throwing the manifesto to the jackals].So what’s the option – don’t know yet.

  2. norman says:

    This a sign of down fall zanu pf has left with army support but it seems they (army) sees light now

  3. weight loss says:

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