Some senior Zanu PF leaders in Matabeleland North Province have withdrawn their curricula vitae for primary elections and instead pledged to support the candidates who will win on the 5th of May.
The decision comes amid concerns by the party leadership that there are too many aspiring candidates for both council and National Assembly seats.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Dr Obert Mpofu who has also been serving as the legislator for Umguza constituency for more than 20 years will not contest for the position but will now focus on being a senator.
The sitting legislator for Bubi Constituency, Cde Clifford Sibanda has also pulled out from the race and pledged to support the candidate who will win in the primary elections.
One of the guidelines of the party requires the province to have a woman parliamentarian who is less than 35 years of age.
In this regard, the sitting National Assembly member in the women’s quota, Cde Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu has offered to step down to make way for a young woman.
Announcing the decision at the Zanu PF Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Lupane, Dr Mpofu said it is disheartening to see more than three candidates contesting for one position, saying it shows selfishness, disrespect and lack of unity.
“You can withdraw and people will actually respect you for supporting your fellow comrade. My wife has said she is stepping down to make way for a young woman. We spoke about this at home and had a debate for some time over the issue and finally agreed. Even Cde Sibanda, we all know him, he was the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office before the new dispensation. He came to me and said, ‘look, I am stepping down and I will support the incoming candidate.’ That is what we want comrades,” said Dr Mpofu.
Zanu PF Secretary for Business Development and Liaison, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni said the party has engaged an independent commission which will assess the curricula vitae to determine those who qualify before handing over the final recommendations to the National Electoral Directorate.
“When the independent commission has handed over to us as the National Electoral Directorate, we will then present the report to the Politburo which will then decide on the final outcome,” she explained.
The party’s Provincial Chairperson, Cde Richard Moyo called on the members to be united and abide by the guidelines when the announcement has been made for candidates to begin campaigning for the primary elections.
“Let us also remember that the people you have in your cell will determine whether you will win or lose. We are assuming all of you have cells basing on the reports that you were bringing to the province,” he said.
Constituencies such as Binga North, Binga South and Lupane East each have seven candidates for the National Assembly while Cde Nyoni is the only candidate for Nkayi North constituency.
Aspiring candidates that will battle it out in the Zanu PF primary elections in Chipinge district have commended the party leadership for coming up with election guidelines that open up the race to competent individuals.
An inter-district meeting presided over by the Zanu PF Vice Chairperson for Manicaland Province, Cde Dorothy Mabika was held at Tanganda in Cchipinge today where the guidelines governing the holding of primary elections were read.
Speaking after the meeting, aspiring candidates; Dr Win Mlambo (Chipinge East) and Cde Sharai Judithy Sakabuya (women’s quota) said the guidelines are a clear roadmap to hold free and fair elections that will see the election of competent party cadres representing Zanu PF during the fourth coming harmonised elections.
The party leadership has taken a decision against imposition of candidates ahead of the primary elections stating that the people’s choice should prevail.