THE upcoming Zanu PF primary elections have set a new record with over 100 former soldiers, State spies, police officers, business executives and journalists from the private and State media on the party’s candidates’ list.
Some of the journalists who have resolved to swap their notepads for political office on the Zanu PF ticket include Garikai Mazara, Andrew Neshamba, Tendai Munengwa, Stanley Karombo, Tawanda Munyikwa and Owen Matava.
In Chivi North constituency, three former Zimbabwe National Army members had their CVs accepted and will run in the primaries. These include Retired Major-General Mathias Tongofa, Brigadier-General Elasto Madzingira and Major Clifford Mumbengegwi.
Businessmen who include Gilbert Muponda, former cricket boss Ozias Bvute, Alum Mpofu, James Makamba are among those who have thrown their names in the ring to contest in this year’s polls on a Zanu PF ticket.
MDC-T spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo said the fact that former army and police personnel, who have in the past used their positions to prop up Zanu PF have now openly entered the arena vindicated their call for the demilitarisation of critical elections institutions.
“This is a clear vindication of the reform calls fronted by the MDC-T and other opposition political parties, the military in Zimbabwe clearly has a stake in Zanu PF and should, therefore, not be allowed anywhere near the management of polls,” she said.
Khumalo said while Zanu PF set among other conditions that a member should have been in the party structures for over five years, the acceptance of CVs by journalists from State media also confirmed the need for media reforms.
“We have known that the State broadcaster is an appendage of Zanu PF where they deployed their members to control the propaganda machinery on behalf of the party and now they want power instead of being used as runner dogs,” she said.
But Zanu PF central committee member Victor Matemadanda said former State security agents, just like any other citizens, were entitled to excise their political rights.
“They went to war so that they can also rule, not to watch others rule, if they chose Zanu PF who are we to deny them a home,” he said. – Newsday