— WASHINGTON DC- The delay in holding primary elections in President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and calls by some senior leaders to delay the general elections until September to fully prepare the party for the forthcoming crucial general elections, is causing serious friction within the former liberation party.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has already indicated that primary elections will be held this month, but now he is saying there will be conducted after the constitutional referendum.
It is not clear when this referendum will be held since the government says it is broke.
Zanu-PF sources told VOA Studio 7 that the party presidium and other top leaders are failing to agree on a template or ground rules for those who want to contest in its primary elections.
There is an unprecedented number of members of the army and young turks who are challenging the old guard and this has unnerved some party heavyweights said to be delaying the primaries so as to deny their challengers the opportunity to seek support on the ground.
There is also pressure on President Robert Mugabe to call for elections after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly in August this year to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August.
This, Zanu-PF sources said, will give the leadership time to deal with factionalism.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the party is united and will hold its primaries in time for the elections.
Interview With Rugare Gumbo
Independent political analyst Gladys Hlatswayo said Zanu-PF has serious problems to deal with and is not prepared for an early election.
Interview With Gladys Hlatwayo