No secret ballot at Zanu PF congress

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“As far as we are concerned and as far as he (Mutasa) is concerned, the so-called team is illegal and he does not recognise the congress that took place in December.” Former Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo,

ZANU PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, has dismissed recent claims by the party’s secretary for legal affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that members of the presidium would be chosen by secret ballot at the December congress.

STAFF REPORTER

In a recent interview, Gumbo said contrary to Mnangagwa’s claims, the structure of the presidium would be shaped by nominations from provinces.

“The correct position is provinces submit nominations and if a candidate garners more than six nominations, that candidate automatically becomes part of the presidium,” he explained.

“The only time we used the secret ballot system was at our inaugural congress in 1963 and since then we have been using a provincial nomination system in accordance with provisions of the party’s constitution.”

Gumbo insisted that the party had not made any constitutional amendments to cater for a secret ballot election at congress.

The Zanu PF presidium comprises Robert Mugabe, Joice Mujuru and national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo.

Mugabe has since been endorsed by all provinces, while nominations for the vice-presidents and national chairperson could be made soon, amid intense jostling ahead of the December congress.

The congress approves the appointment of central committee members and department heads and their deputies.

Gumbo referred to Section 32 (1) of the Zanu PF constitution, which says members of the presidium “shall be elected by congress directly upon nomination by at least six provincial co-ordinating committees of the party, meeting separately in special session called for that purpose.

“In the event that no single candidate garners six or more nominations the process is repeated with the candidates who garnered the highest votes being resubjected to a fresh nomination until one candidate gets the required six nominations”.

Mnangagwa was last month quoted saying the party constitution provided for “one-man one-vote” system and would be amended by his legal committee to create room for a secret vote for members of the presidium.

An analyst, who requested anonymity, described Mnangagwa’s reading of the constitution as wrong.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has already been nominated by the Manicaland province to contest the chairmanship.