BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The Zanu PF internal elections to select members of the district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) held in Harare at the weekend were marred by violence, intimidation and allegations of vote-rigging.
There were chaotic scenes as ballot papers were captured on videos being thrown away from party-branded vehicles by angry supporters after their preferred candidates’ names did not appear on ballot papers.
Zanu PF political commissar Victor Matemadanda tried to underplay the violence, but admitted that the violent conduct had a potential of militating against the party’s mobilisation drive ahead of the 2023 polls.
“We lost Glen View constituency in the by-elections because of favouritism. We are not going to have a party of thugs; we will not accommodate you if you are a thug. We stayed with guns for a long time during the war of liberation as Zipra and Zanla forces, but we did not use them to intimidate party cadres,” Matemadanda fumed.
“People do not want to join the party because of thuggish behaviour in the party. If you are not disciplined, we will close the door on you. Harare province was dissolved before and we will not hesitate to dissolve it again if party members became undisciplined. We can even go to the elections without Harare DCC if you continue to be like that.”
Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Ziyambi Ziyambi, who was overseeing elections in zone 2, which includes Glen View and Budiriro only said: “I did not witness any violence, but in any election, people differ on several issues and there were some party members who wanted to vote, but did not have party membership cards. But some of the areas that I visited we completed the process well.”
The Harare district elections saw the re-election of Godwin Gomwe, Godwills Masimirembwa and new faces such as George Chimhini, Kudakwashe Damson, Goodwell Mafuratidze and Ephraim Fundira as the chairpersons of Harare’s six districts.
Matemadanda said the structures were made up of war veterans, youths and other Zanu PF affiliates, but exclude land barons and those who think Zanu PF is a labour market.
“This party belongs to cardholders. We do not want party members who are thugs and will use violence to win a position.”
Matemadanda warned those he accused of plotting to destroy the party, saying Zanu PF had serious people who suffered for it and would not tolerate divisive elements.
The Zanu PF commissar also castigated Britain and the United States for trying to teach them democracy.