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Zimbabwe: Mliswa Questions Zanu-PF Primary Elections as He Predicts a ‘Bhora Musango’

FORMER Zanu PF member and independent legislator Temba Mliswa has questioned the upcoming internal elections in the ruling party saying the time frame raises dust.

Zanu PF announced Thursday that it will be holding its primary elections next week Saturday to select candidates that will run under its banner for members of parliament and councillors in the general elections.

Mliswa reckons the short time frame for primary elections will short-change prospective candidates.

He says if the primary elections are not handled well Zanu PF will witness ‘bhora musango’ (protest votes).

“The ZANU PF primary elections have been announced with only a week’s notice which is very shocking and unusual. The minimum period for such an exercise should have been around 3 months. By doing this the Commissariat is short-changing aspiring candidates.

“Many were not campaigning because of the party directive against that, then suddenly you give them one week to campaign! What is that? What it actually means is that you are imposing candidates as the situation favours the incumbents who had links with the ground already.

“The Commissariat misled the President. This will lead to bhora musango as candidates will have been essentially imposed. Even in CCC I have advised against imposing candidates. It’s dangerous. The electorate is being cunningly guided to vote for a specific group of candidates,” said Mliswa.

With Primary elections, Zanu PF is raising the ante as it gears for the general elections.

Mliswa says Zanu PF risks repeating the 2008 scenario when the opposition swept the majority of parliamentary seats if it fails the internal elections.

“ED went through a congress and won because no one wanted to contest against him. Thus everyone else should go through the same electoral process to bring out the candidate with support. You cannot engineer a winner this way and not suffer the effects of bhora musango.

“In 2008 ZANU lost due to the imposition of candidates. Those who contested had no organic link with the electorate. The primary elections should be held as early as possible so that a candidate can work to endear themselves with the electorate.

“As it is there are too many parallel structures which view themselves as the electoral panacea that carries votes. Too many organisations and entities act as power brokers. However, it doesn’t work like that. Candidates should simply be given time to connect with the electorate,” he said.

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