THE ruling party Zanu-PF’s provincial structures have been dissolved ahead of today’s intra-party elections to choose the new leadership.
The revolutionary party has since deployed senior party cadres from the Politburo to supervise the electoral process throughout the country.
The party members will elect provincial chairpersons of the main wing, women’s league and the youth in all the 10 provinces.
Selected provincial members are the presiding and polling officers but no presiding officer or polling officer will conduct elections in his or her province. The provinces which have been asked to select competent individuals as presiding and polling officers, will therefore exchange presiding and polling officers to avoid cases where individuals conduct elections in their own provinces.
A total of 61 polling stations have been set up in Bulawayo where Politburo member, Kenneth Musanhi is overseeing the electoral process being assisted by Brigadier General (Retired) Walter Kanhanga who is also a Politburo member and four other Central Committee members from Masvingo province.
Former firebrand Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) leader, Jabulani Sibanda, former Mpopoma-Pelandaba MP, Cde Joseph Tshuma, Bulawayo war veterans’ chairman, Cephas Ncube and the interim provincial party chairperson, Obert Msindo, are among those eyeing the top post in the province.
Others are Douglas Mpofu and Mlungisi Moyo while Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, is also seeking to get into the provincial structures.
Those who have submitted their CVs under the women’s basket are the interim secretary for women affairs Cde Rebecca Manjere, her deputy Zeria Ngozo and Joyce Sibanda.
Those vying for the top post under the youths’ wing are interim secretary for youth affairs Freedom Murechu, Bhekinkosi Dube and Mayibongwe Zvigadza.
A total of 205 aspiring candidates in Bulawayo submitted their CVs.
Addressing presiding officers during the party’s Bulawayo provincial election coordination meeting yesterday at Davis Hall, Musanhi said all provincial executives throughout the country have been dissolved to pave way for the elections.
“We have dissolved all the provincial executives to pave way for new elections and this is the reason why we are here in Bulawayo. We are here to make sure that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner,” he said.
Musanhi also commended the Bulawayo leadership for mobilising supporters ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
“In line with the Zanu-PF constitution, we are supposed to hold elections for a new leadership in every province after five years. Bulawayo province has made tremendous progress in terms of mobilisation,” he said.
“In 2019 we had only 34 districts and today we have 61, which is almost double and we applaud the leadership for doing well.”
Politburo member Douglas Mahiya, who is overseeing the electoral process in Matabeleland North said the province is ready for the provincial polls.
Richard Moyo is eyeing to retain the chairmanship of the party in the province and will battle it out with Cde Believe Gaule. Harare province is supervising the polls in Matabeleland North.
“Today we received Harare province, which is going to run the district polling stations. We have deployed them and we should be ready to open our polling stations at 7 am tomorrow,” said Mahiya.
He said his team is ready and all the polling stations in the province are adequately covered.
“I’m expecting the electorate to start voting at 7 am tomorrow. We only have two people who are vying for the chairman’s post,” said Mahiya.
He said Zanu-PF should use today’s internal polls to demonstrate its democratic processes and political maturity.
“We must demonstrate democratic principles and we must walk the talk that Zanu-PF is a democratic political party. We must let our people enjoy democracy, we must allow people to vote peacefully,” he said.
Mahiya said the party has not had an incidents of squabbles or infighting during the campaigns.
Zanu-PF national political commissar Mike Bimha said it was all systems go for today’s elections.
“We have deployed Politburo members who are going to run and manage the affairs of the provinces. As you know we have dissolved provincial structures, so we have assigned two Politburo members to each province and they will supervise the elections,” he said.
Bimha said they ensured that Politburo and Central Committee Members supervising the elections do not come from the provinces where they are deployed.
He said the material that would be used for the elections such as ballot papers and boxes has been distributed to the provinces. — Chronicle