by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S ruling party has stepped up preparations for polls set in August, the first it will contest without deposed leader Robert Mugabe.
Zanu-PF spokesman, Simon Khaya Moyo, announced the party’s preferred candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had tasked the revolutionary party to ensure a landslide victory in the face of a challenge by a coalition by opposition parties.
“The focus should be on voter registration and aiming to win the harmonised elections resoundingly. There should be no more hate speech and factionalism within the party,” Moyo said.
Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe a party torn apart by factionalism.
A section of the liberation movement aligned with Mnangagwa while another sided with Mugabe’s controversial wife, Grace, who until the intervention of the military looked set to succeed her husband.
“In this regard, the party follows the dictates of His Excellency, the First Secretary and President Mnangagwa, to let bygones be bygones. There should be no retribution of any kind in the party,” Moyo said.
The Zanu-PF spokesman was reacting to party politburo secretary for the commissariat, Retired Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje, following the 315th Ordinary Session of the Politburo’s report which the latter presented to the ruling party.
Mnangagwa urged all party members to ensure Zanu-PF enhanced its dominance, having been in power since 1980 with Mugabe at the helm.
“He (Mnangagwa) requested each member to be on their toes and play their part in this exercise,” Moyo said.
A coalition of parties including the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and People’s Rainbow Coalition of Mugabe’s former deputy, Joice Mujuru, hopes to unseat Zanu-PF.
However, their chances appear diminishing with the removal of Mugabe, the warm reception Mnangagwa has received along the political divide and the health problems afflicting Tsvangirai.
– CAJ News