BY MOSES MATENGA
ZANU PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu yesterday quashed criticism by the main opposition party, MDC Alliance that the ruling party was holding meetings and internal elections in total defiance of COVID-19 regulations that prohibit public gatherings.
Mpofu said this in response to concerns raised by MDC Alliance deputy national spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo, who told NewsDay that Zanu PF was unfairly allowing its party programmes to go ahead, while blocking opposition party programmes.
The government last year barred the holding of by-elections to replace the MDC Alliance MPs and councillors that were recalled by the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora on the pretext that it was observing World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 protocols.
However, WHO had given a greenlight for elections to take place as long as the environment was conducive.
Some countries have held successful elections during the COVID-19 era.
“We are not shocked. It is within its DNA [deoxyribonucleic acid]. Zanu PF is a law on its own. They don’t even respect the conditions they announced themselves. They don’t value life. That’s why they were throwing parties and holding rallies at the peak of the pandemic,” Hlatywayo said.
“That’s why they don’t care about the working conditions and remuneration of frontline workers. When the nurses protested, they were beaten. When doctors went on strike, they were threatened and others fired. Those who are still at medical schools were forced to go to the military first as bondage. Zanu PF doesn’t care about anything other than retention of power.”
But Mpofu said there was nothing wrong with the Zanu PF meetings and elections as long as they followed WHO guidelines and protocols.
“Whatever programme being undertaken should be in compliance with the WHO regulations. Remember we cancelled the politburo meeting last week because we wanted to ensure that we abided by these regulations,” he said.
Although Zanu PF has lost senior party and government officials to the pandemic, it continues to hold public meetings and elections.