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Zanu-PF Says Aspiring Candidates Must Only Campaign for Mugabe Until Primary Election Rules Are Finalized

The Zanu-PF Politiburo has instructed all aspiring party candidates to campaign only for President Robert Mugabe for now until the party finalizes its rules governing primary elections.

ZANU PF’s decision-making body, the Politburo, is locked in a renewed bid to quell resurgent factionalism and infighting fires burning at provinces ahead of primary polls and crucial general elections expected later this year.

The Politiburo met in Harare at the parrty Headquarters Wednesday until late into the night but still failed to finalize the contentious issue of primary elections.

The rival MDC formation, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is holding its primary elections beginning Saturday.

Zanu-PF party sources, who asked not to be named, told VOA that temperatures are rising as some aspiring candidates are already on the campaign trail, despite instructions to wait for the party to agree on primary election rules.

The early campaigns are said to be bringing serious friction within the party. Incumbent senators, members of parliament and councillors are said to be bitter with aspiring candidates who are said to be already campaigning and causing confusion.

Our sources also say that if Mr Mugabe calls for early elections it could be a disaster for Zanu-PF, as candidates will have very little time to campaign.

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA the party hopes to deal with the matter when it meets again next week.

Political analyst Earnest Mudzengi, director of the media centre in Harare, says party infighting is to blame for the lack of agreement.

Zanu PF is divided into two major factions, one said to be led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the other by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Political analysts say as the 89 year old Mugabe gets increasingly old and frail, factionalism is worsening.

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