Zanu PF will hold its primary elections on November 1 to select candidates to contest for vacant seats in Parliament following the recall of opposition legislators by self-imposed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed that the by-elections will be held on December 9 while the Nomination Court will sit on November 7.
Zanu PF political commissar, Mike Bimha, told NewsDay: “It’s true that we have set November 1 as the date for our primary elections subject to approval from our principals.”
In his welcome remarks during the party’s politburo on Tuesday, Mnangagwa said the ruling party is treating the by-elections as a crunch poll.
The party seeks to “annihilate” the opposition and gain absolute control of Parliament in order to change the Constitution.
“Our self-centred people’s projects and the unmatched mobilisation capabilities should see us winning all the impending by-elections,” he said.
Zanu PF failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in the August elections, winning 136 of the 209 National Assembly seats contested against 73 for the CCC.
There are 210 seats in the National Assembly, but in Gutu, elections in the constituency were not held on August 23 and 24 following the death of a candidate, Christopher Mutonhori Rwodzi.
A shadowy intelligence Zanu PF affiliate, the Forever Associate Zimbabwe (FAZ) which has previously been accused of manipulating electoral processes, said it was ready to assist in the coming by-elections.
“We have said for the umpteenth time that we are an affiliate of Zanu PF, and this has not changed. Yes, indeed, if the party deploys us to assist its primary elections for the upcoming by-elections or any other envisaged internal elections in the future, we will willingly oblige. We live to serve, as our motto aptly asserts,” FAZ leader, Kudakwashe Mavula Munsaka, said.
Sources say the primary elections were just a smokescreen following reports that some prominent candidates such as Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and businessman Scott Sakupwanya would not be contested.