ZANU PF cell structures are reportedly in shambles, with some members allegedly removing names of their perceived rivals from the registers to deny them an opportunity to participate in party primaries.
Party political commissar Mike Bimha said they were currently on a nationwide cell building and verification exercise expected to end this week.
“We extended the cell verification and building because some of the areas were facing threats of Cyclone Freddy. At the moment, we are yet to get the reports,” he said.
Several complaints have been reported over party members who were trying to influence voting patterns ahead of the forthcoming party primaries.
There are also unverified reports that opposition members Citizens Coalitions for Change (CCC) were defecting to the ruling party and boosting Zanu PF cell numbers.
In Buhera South constituency’s ward 25, for instance sitting legislator Joseph Chinotimba has been accused of removing his rival, Ngonidzashe Mudekunye’s supporters from party cells.
The allegation popped up during a meeting chaired by Zanu PF central committee member Moses Gutu.
Chinotimba was seething with anger when NewsDay called him yesterday.
Letters: Ensuring Africa’s food security through availability of quality seeds
Is military’s involvement in politics compatible with democracy?
“I don’t want to comment on the story. You can contact comrade Patrick Chinamasa or comrade Mike Bimha, but those people who are saying that are stupid,” Chinotimba said fumed.
“l want to know the name of the source, if you don’t (tell me) l will come to your office. l am not doing cells. On the day in question I was in Mutare, “he said.
“Several MPs and aspiring candidates are in the constituencies monitoring the cell building and verification exercise because this can be manipulated,” a source said.
“This is happening and the cells are in shambles,” he said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa dismissed the allegations that the cell registers were being tampered with.
“People vote as individuals, and I am happy because we are convincing people to come to join us. We encourage more people to come and join our people’s party,” Mutsvangwa said.
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba also dismissed allegations that CCC members were joining Zanu PF cells.
“This is very impossible that we have members who are being roped into Zanu PF cells, this is ridiculous,” Siziba said.
Last year, Zanu PF conducted an emergency audit of its structures which left party leaders deeply worried after very few people turned up for the cell verification exercise.