A record number of candidates running into thousands have submitted their CVs to stand in for the ruling party in the forthcoming elections with a blend of old and new faces — in a display of the universal popularity of Zanu PF.
On Saturday and Sunday, the ruling party’s aspiring candidates submitted their CVs to the provincial administrators at the respective provincial headquarters, and today provinces are expected to submit to the party headquarters all the CVs considered by provincial elections directorates with their comments and recommendations.
The party has deployed Politburo members in various provinces to supervise the election process. These were, in Bulawayo Cde Tshinga Dube; Harare Cde Charles Tavengwa; Manicaland Cde Patrick Chinamasa; Mashonaland Central Cde Kenneth Musanhi; Mashonaland East Cde Mike Bimha; Mashonaland West Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa; Masvingo Cde Lovemore Matuke; Matabeleland North Cde Obert Mpofu; Matabeleland South Cde Richard Ndlovu and Midlands Province Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
Aspiring candidates will be vying for 210 constituencies, 1 970 wards, 60 senatorial, 60 for women’s quota and 10 for Youth quota.
Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Chris Mutsvangwa said there was an overwhelming response to stand for the revolutionary party in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
“The registration for primary elections took place in an atmosphere of enthusiastic calmness, exemplary discipline and amicable camaraderie among the prospective contestants.
“There was an evident sense of purpose springing from the glowing successes of the development agenda of His Excellency President Mnangagwa. This new ‘can-do spirit’ is also energising the electorate. Mashonaland West is among the highest score of a clutch of registered voters who responded to the easing of acquiring national identity cards. There was a 200 000 increase to 700 000. All this augurs well for President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party of the Permanent Zimbabwe Revolution as it looks to the impending National Harmonised Elections,” he said.
The party’s Political Commissar, Cde Mike Bimha said despite the short notice, there was a massive response from all 10 provinces.
“Most of the provinces have now finalised their work and will be sending in their reports tomorrow
morning (today). There are two or so provinces that have asked permission to finalise their processes before lunch tomorrow (today).
“There has been an overwhelming response with some of the positions, particularly for the House of Assembly where you have 10 or more candidates pursuing one position, so across the board on the National Assembly, the Senate, the women’s quota, youth quota and local authority there has been an overwhelming response.
“I would like to thank all our members for exercising their rights by coming forward and demonstrating their willingness to work for the party. We look forward to all provinces finalising their reports and bringing them before the deadline,” said Cde Bimha.
In Mashonaland East Province, all sitting parliamentarians and councillors filed their particulars (CVs), declaring interest to contest in the forthcoming primary elections.
Among those who submitted their CVs are Cdes Simbaneuta Mudarikwa of Uzumba constituency, Cde Tichaona Karumazondo of Maramba Pfungwe constituency, Cde Felix Mhona and Cde Sekai Nzenza who will both contest for Chikomba East constituency.
As a result of delimitation, the Chikomba district was left with two constituencies.
Others include Cde Daniel Garwe of Murehwa North, Cde Cleopas Kundiona, who will contest with Cde Lawrence Katsiru and Dunnymore Mutyambizi in the Marondera Central constituency
Yesterday, following the submission of personal documents, the province held a Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting which was officiated by the party’s national political commissar Cde Mike Bimha who emphasised the importance of holding peaceful elections.
“We are now preparing for the primary elections. Yes, this is our election but we must look beyond that to ensure that Zanu PF and President Mnangagwa win.
“I urge you to have peaceful elections. Mashonaland East Province is well known for voting for the ruling party and it is my hope that this time around, the province will vote for Zanu PF and for the party to win resoundingly in this year’s general elections.”
In Mashonaland Central, over 4 000 nomination papers were filed for the House of Assembly, local authorities and Senate seats, including from the diaspora.
The provincial elections directorate sat yesterday to look into the curriculum vitaes of the aspiring candidates.
Some of the names are David Butau former MP Mbire, NRZ board chairperson Martin Dinha for Mazowe North.
A number of new youthful candidates have shown their interest to contest the sitting members and these include Ryan Dokwani (Shamva North) and Spencer Chiwarange in Rushinga.
Female candidates remain few with only Patience Tapomwa contesting Mazowe South; Venencia Madhake Bindura South and Patricia Ziumbwa Shamva North.
From the diaspora, Kenneth Mandaza based in South Africa tendered his interest in Bindura South.
Cde Musanhi, who was leading the process in Mashonaland Central urged all aspiring candidates to put the party first.
“I appeal to everyone to be calm and campaign peacefully. Vote buying is not accepted and those caught on the wrong side of the party constitution will be subjected to a disciplinary hearing,” he said.
In Beitbridge East, the incumbent legislator Cde Albert Nguluvhe is being challenged by former Ward 2 councillor Cde Steven Stubbs Muleya.
Under the Beitbridge West constituency, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cde Ruth Maboyi will contest against Matabeleland South chairperson of the War Veterans League Cde Alfred Makhomo Moyo, and Cde Thusani Masitha Ndou.
Cde Tambudzani Mohadi is set to go head to head with a perennial contender and former Beitbridge Municipality Mayor Cde Showa Moyo, Beitbridge Residents Association chairman Cde Lawrence Tshili and former District Administrator Cde Edson Mbedzi.
Beitbridge Proportional Representative legislator Cde Metrine Mudau is facing a challenge from Ward 13 councillor Cde Sibongile Chauke.
Meanwhile, the Mashonaland West Provincial Elections Directorate (PED) on Saturday received nomination papers from aspiring candidates eyeing various seats.
Although the PED was overwhelmed with the number of people that showed interest, receiving and receipting the nomination papers was successfully done in the thick of the night on the same day.
The Herald caught up with some of the aspiring candidates after submitting their papers, who all described the process as flawless.
Cde Gift Dondo who submitted his papers for the Chinhoyi legislator’s seat said the peace that prevailed during the submission was a sign that the party was headed for peaceful internal polls.
He is scheduled to battle it out with the party’s 2018 aspiring candidates Cde Last Sauramba, Cde Thomas Chidzomba and Cde Charles Mtisi.
Mhangura legislator Cde Precious Chinhamo-Masango who submitted her papers yesterday eyeing the second term was optimistic about free and fair primary elections.
She will be battling it out with over five party members that include politburo member Dr Douglas Mombeshora.
Sanyati legislator, Dr Polite Kambamura who also filed his papers for a comeback said he was ready to battle it out with other aspiring candidates that have shown interest in the constituency.
The Saturday exercise saw an increase in the number of females and youths submitting their papers with the old guard also maintaining their positions.
Hurungwe Central Member of Parliament Cde Daubt Ndiweni, who is not seeking a second term, told The Herald that he was going to work with the party’s candidate who wins the primary election so that the seat does not go to the opposition.
In a PED meeting yesterday, Cde Mutsvangwa thanked aspiring candidates for showing the highest levels of discipline during the submission of their nomination papers.
In Midlands, hundreds of Zanu PF party candidates jostled to beat yesterday’s 4pm deadline to submit their CVs to contest in the party primary elections slated for the weekend.
Some constituencies in the province received as many as 10 candidates willing to take part in the election.
In Mberengwe East, the incumbent Member of Parliament Cde Marko Raidza will battle it out with seven other candidates including former sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane.
Party senior officials Cdes Jorum Gumbo and July Moyo filed their CVs uncontested for Mberengwa Senate and Redcliff constituency respectively. Cde Edmore Samambwa of Zhombe constituency also submitted his CV uncontested.
In Matabeleland North, Cdes Sikhathele Moyo, James Phiri, Hillary Sundano, Douglas Mpofu, Binwell Sibanda and Norah Dube submitted their CVs for Hwange East.
In Hwange West Cdes Philani Moyo, Khumbulani Mpofu, and Clement Mukwasi submitted their CVs while in Hwange Central Cdes Reeds Dube, Daniel Sithole and Cde Alfas Dube also submitted their papers.
In Lupane East, Cdes Mbongeni Dube, Thubelihle Ncube submitted their CVs as did Cde Cephas Mudenda, Chineka Muchimba and Kudakwashe Munsaka in Binga North.