HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF yesterday cancelled a highly anticipated politburo meeting expected to set rules for primary elections which have sharply divided his party.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News yesterday that the politburo meeting was off. He refused to divulge reasons for the postponement.
The politburo meeting was coming on the back of serious jockeying in the party, where members are jostling to be nominated as parliamentary and council candidates.
Mugabe’s party ticket as a presidential candidate was unopposed.
“We have postponed the meeting to a later date and we shall we inform you when we are going to hold meeting. But it is going to be very soon,” said Mutasa.
As the election season heats up, Zanu PF members in the country’s 10 provinces have been busy canvassing for support.
The meeting was expected to discuss the rules and regulations to be used for the primary elections.
Aspiring candidates will then submit their applications for vetting and approval and only then can primary election campaigns start, according to Zanu PF officials.
The Daily News understands the meeting was also expected to brainstorm on the party’s election manifesto that includes land, indigenisation and empowerment programmes expected to anchor Zanu PF’s election campaign.
A team led by serial political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo has reportedly been busy working on the election manifesto.
A new electronic membership card is expected to be officially unveiled, as the former liberation war movement moves to align with current trends.
But it is the divisive primaries that were set to take centre stage at the postponed politburo meeting.
Critics say Zimbabwe’s security sector is trying to strengthen its grip on power by contesting the next election on the Zanu PF ticket.
This has seen several serving and retired commanders as well as mid-ranking officers battling it out with Zanu PF members for the party ticket.
The politburo, when it next meets, is also expected to flesh out a proposal by a cabal of so-called “Young Turks” calling themselves “Generation 40” who have cobbled a strategy to retire the old guard.