‘Zanu-PF has done its homework’

Norman Muchemwa
Zanu-PF has girded its loins for tomorrow’s harmonised elections and is confident that the monster crowds it has attracted to its campaign rallies will translate into votes for the ruling party.

Ahead of the polls, many observers — including NGOs like the Zimbabwe Election Support Network — have noted that this year’s “political environment remained generally calm and peaceful”.

And Zanu-PF is confident that this sets the tone for a resounding victory for the party.

Ruling party National Secretary for Legal Affairs and Zanu-PF spokesperson on electoral issues Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana told The Sunday Mail last week that: “The chances of winning are extremely good and we are actually rearing to go.

“We have done our homework as a party and its all systems go. There is no doubt that Zanu-PF has the biggest crowd, which will be translated into votes on Monday.

“By and large, the party has been on top of the game. We have been having door-to-door campaigns in all the wards in the constituencies. We have also been holding rallies at constituency level addressed by our provincial leaderships and also at national level addressed by the Vice-Presidents and national chairperson (Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri) and the President (Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa) himself.

“The attendances have been good. We are actually very excited and we are encouraged. Posters and regalia were rolled out in every corner of Zimbabwe.

“Our manifesto as well as campaigning messages reached every corner of the country. Our people are eager to go.”

Closing ranks

According to ZESN’s long-term observation report on the pre-election political environment and observation of key electoral processes that was released on July 25, Zanu-PF has held more than 152 active political campaigns in the days leading to July 14, while the MDC-Alliance and People’s Rainbow Coalition have held 139 and 34 campaigns, respectively.

Apart from fielding candidates in all 210 National Assembly constituencies, Zanu-PF, Cde Mangwana said, had severed ties with disgruntled elements who tried to sabotage its campaign.

“Our party has always held primary elections before the main election. We have always done that; we are not new to this thing. We have always been involved in this internal democratic process, we have always faced disgruntled members, but we have mechanisms for healing and reconciling our members.

“This process of healing has been put in place and our candidates are happy and whatever challenges have been faced, these have been addressed, explanations given and we have reconciled our members who contested each other during primary elections so that we all forge ahead and approach elections as a united force,” he said.

Zanu-PF held a two-day healing and reconciliation workshop from May 29, which was addressed by the party’s First Secretary and Presidential candidate Cde Mnangagwa.

“Here and there you will have pockets of people, some who are new to these processes, who then take things personally and this is why you find out that in some areas there are some who have stood as independent candidates.

“The party position on those preaching “bhora musango” is that they have rebelled against the party and they are no longer members of Zanu-PF. Party members are aware that after every process if you are unhappy, you use internal processes.”

Winner takes all

Zanu-PF does not envisage a coalition Government after tomorrow’s elections.

“We are guided by the National Constitution. The National Constitution does not require a winner to form a coalition Government. Internationally, coalition governments lead to weaker states and weak governments.

“The kind of constitutional process we have in this country is called the first-past-the-post electoral system that creates what is called a winner-takes-all situation.

“So if our Presidential candidates wins at least 51 percent, he is entitled to form the next Government. That is the electoral system that we agreed as the three main political parties who wrote the Constitution governing the country today,” he said.

The President, added Cde Mangwana, could select ministers from the opposition if he so wished.

The Constitution, he added, provided aggrieved parties the right to test the credibility of elections through the courts.

“Zanu-PF is a democratic party which believes that after elections, people must accept the results; if they feel they don’t want to accept the results, there is a provision in our Constitution for those unhappy people to take their matters to the Constitutional court.

“So there is a legal process which is in place to deal with an outcome which a player is unhappy with…

“It is only through the courts that you can test the credibility of the elections, you can have your grievances dealt with by the courts of law,” said Cde Mangwana.

The people of Zimbabwe, he said, should go and vote peacefully and vote for President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.

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