Mnangagwa pleads with loyalists as internal polls cause rancour




Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks at an annual conference of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Bindura, 80 kilometers north of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, Oct. 30, 2021. (Columbus Mavhunga/VOA)

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe will hold council and parliamentary by-elections in the first quarter of the year amid tensions in his party following recent provincial elections in which some Zanu PF activists claim they were rigged.

Addressing the 359th Ordinary session of the Zanu PF Politburo today in Harare livestreamed on the party Twitter account, Mnangagwa said time has come for the party to start mobilizing Zimbabweans for the by-elections.

Mnangagwa said, “The 2023 election process is upon us. Related programs to mobilise electorate towards voter registration, inspection of voters-roll and subsequent voters education should be heightened.

“By-elections will be held during the first quarter of the year, that’s why provincial elections were held at the end of the year. Irrespective of outcomes of deliberations, the party must remain focused and result-oriented focusing on fulfilling the party manifesto.”

He said the ruling party remains strong despite tensions following the conduction of provincial elections.

“Lets nature our democratic culture and mobilisation processes. As we all save the party let’s unite. An election loss must never dampen the revolutionary spirit. In all our dealings members must conduct themselves honourably. Constitutionalism, unity peace and harmony remain our compass now and into the future.

“I urge all members of the Party to be mindful of the fact that in our party there are no winners or losers its the people and party that win. Those who did not make it must avail their experiences skills and competences to build our party.”

Some Zanu PF activists, including members of the Generation 40 led by Savior Kasukuwere, claim that some of their colleagues won the provincial elections.

Ntokozo Msipha, a member of an organization campaigning for Kasukuwere to lead Zanu PF known as Tyson Wabantu, said, “It’s true that our followers countrywide voted in favor of those that want him (Kasukuwere) to lead Zanu PF and the country.

“Now the ruling party is scared of endorsing some of the winners because they support Kasukuwere. We beat them on the ground. We have been saying all along that Mnangagwa does not have grassroots support. These results are an indication that Zanu PF supporters don’t want Mnangagwa who became president following a military coup.”

Msipha said further noted that some people who were elected at provincial level may be “dumped by the Politburo because of their links to Kasukuwere.”

Zanu PF officials could not be reached for comment as communications director Tafazdwa Mugwadi and secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, were said to be busy at the party headquarters.