via Zanu PF calls off problematic polls 18/11/2013 by Staff Reporter NewZimbabwe
ZANU PF has called off its problematic provincial elections pending a key politburo meeting scheduled in time for President Robert Mugabe’s return from a foreign trip.
National chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, said Monday that elections in the seven remaining provinces would be held after the meeting which is set for Saturday.
“There will be a Politburo meeting on Saturday 23 November 2013 at Party Headquarters. This has necessitated the postponement of the provincial elections in the remaining seven provinces to a later date,’’ said Khaya Moyo.
“All teams must continue with the necessary (election) preparations including certification of registers and candidates. Once the exact date is announced, the elections will be held in one day from 7am-7pm.
“In the meantime the Ad Hoc Committee appeals to all party leaders to refrain from conducting party affairs though the media. The revolutionary party has a clear constitution and explicit structures to be respected in its daily operations.”
Mugabe left the country last week for a ten-day trip to Singapore – where he attended daughter Bona’s graduation – before travelling to Dubai and Kuwait where he was to attend an international conference.
In his absence, top party officials bickered publicly over elections that were aimed at re-organising provincial structures ahead of a national conference scheduled for Chinhoyi.
Elections have so far been held in the Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central provinces but results there were disputed amid allegations of rigging and a host of other irregularities.
Last week Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, said the veteran leader had declared that results from the three provinces would be set aside pending a politburo meeting over the issue.
But party spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, insisted the results would stand, drawing a rebuke from information minister Jonathan Moyo who warned him that he risked being accused of insubordination.
A defiant Gumbo insisted that he was the Zanu PF spokesman, adding Charamba’s remit did not extend to party matters.
Moyo said there was no bigger authority in the party than the leader and won the support of deputy chief whip, Mandy Chimene, who told the ZBC Monday that no one could override what Mugabe says through his official spokesperson, Charamba.
Problems in the party have been linked to divisions over the succession of Mugabe who turns 90 next February.
Moyo however, downplayed the media storm during a lecture Monday at the Zimbabwe Staff College where he dismissed the election drama as an insignificant “side-show”.
“The real drama of our national politics is around Zim Asset,” he said.
“We did that after the two-thirds majority win in 2005, though not emphatic as this one, where soon after that comrades started pre-occupying themselves with internal and succession politics.
“Even though newspapers might carry sensational stories about provincial elections, Zanu PF is not a province but a national liberation movement,” he said.
“Zanu PF is the Government and the Government is not a province. Government is not driven by provincial elections but by a promise coming out of an election manifesto supported by the 61 percent mandate given to President Mugabe and two-thirds majority given to Zanu PF and we want this to define the dynamics of our national politics.
“We believe if you look beyond the headlines, this is what you will find happening today. We think that after the national budget, the discourse in terms of where priorities lie, will dramatically change and everyone will speak with the same language.”