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Zanu-PF Schedules Primaries, Issues Poll Guidelines

Zanu-PF youth
After weeks of intense debate within its supreme decision-making body, the Politburo, Zanu PF has finally settled on a date for its primary elections and guidelines for candidates.

The party announced Thursday that its primaries will be held on June 24, and on Friday party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo laid down the rules and regulations that candidates must meet.

He said hopefuls should have a record of contributing in some way to the liberation of the country from white minority rule, and also be informed on economic and political issues.

Above all, Moyo said, candidates must have been party members for at least 5 years.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA his party will start preparing for the primaries this weekend.

"We have inter-district meetings Saturday where aspiring candidates will bring in their CVs and so forth and then on Sunday we have a provincial coordinating committee to look at the applicants," said Gumbo.

Asked if Zanu PF was prepared for the one-day primaries, the first the party has ever done so, Gumbo offered a frank admission.

"We don't know whether we will succeed or not. Whether there will be glitches or not, we do not know, but that is what we have decided to do and we hope we will succeed," he said.

On the other hand, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says it will wrap-up its election candidate selection process this weekend.

It will hold its final primaries in provinces where sitting members of parliament did not have enough support during the first confirmation exercise, when they might have avoided a primary fight. A number of MDC-T legislators including Fidelis Mhasu, Willias Madzimure, Misheck Shoko, Felix Magalela Sibanda and Heneri Dzinotyiwei, failed to make it in the first round of voting.

Party organising secretary Nelson Chamisa says the MDC-T will have elections in 27 centres, including constituencies where the party was forced to abandon the process last weekend because of intra-party violence.

Mr. Chamisa says the party now believes these issues are “water under the bridge.”