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Amidst Internal Strife, Zimbabwe Ruling Party Re-Runs Primary Elections

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has resolved to rerun some primary elections in an effort to patch up cracks within the party over who its candidates will be in a number of constituencies beset by divisions, some involving top party officials.

Spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said the party’s leadership, which met on Tuesday, acknowledged mistakes in recent hurried primary elections and called a second round of primaries in constituencies in Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland East.

Some members have defied President Robert Mugabe and his presidium by proposing to run as ZANU-PF candidates despite losing a primary, or running as independents.

Party insiders said the move has deepened divisions between those calling for the expulsion of such rebels and those who advocate patience. In Masvingo alone, 11 members have defied the party, among them Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengengwi and politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire.

Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga, deputy director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that ZANU-PF out of political expediency is ignoring its own constitution.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...