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ED faces internal revolt over polls

President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces internal revolt over early elections after it emerged his calls for polls to go ahead as early as August could be resisted by his own Zanu PF MPs.

By Everson Mushava

Reports reaching The Standard last week said many Zanu PF legislators wanted elections postponed by at least three years.
The MPs were allegedly now mulling engaging Parliament to make amendments to the Constitution to postpone the plebiscite due in five months.

Zanu PF legislators are said to be afraid of losing their seats to soldiers who have been given a blank cheque to contest in parliamentary elections under the Zanu PF ticket.

This is said to be a move to reward the military for the successful operation that handed over power to the present administration.

Mnangagwa’s MPs, for long locked in bitter factional wars, also fear the party was still embedded in chaos and confusion and could lose seats to the equally chaotic opposition MDC-T if the polls were to be held this year.

Well-placed sources told The Standard that while Mnangagwa was desperate to have elections this year to legitimise his rule, his MPs were pulling in the opposite direction and were soliciting the support of MDC-T MPs to use Parliament to postpone the elections.

The plot is reportedly getting buy-in from the MDC-T, which was also allegedly pushing for the postponement of presidential elections to give its candidate Morgan Tsvangirai time to recover from a debilitating cancer.

Meanwhile, with regards to primary elections, Zanu PF MPs are reportedly afraid the party, rocked in internal fights for more than a decade, could be further torn apart in the process of selecting candidates. MPs perceived to have been G40 sympathisers are particularly wary they could be unfairly kicked aside.

A Zanu PF MP who preferred anonymity said: “There is confusion and chaos in constituencies and the party is afraid it will lose more seats if elections were held this year.”

“Zanu PF MPs want harmonised elections to be postponed so that it [the party] has more time to deal with its post transitional period before elections can be held. The Zanu PF MPs also feel that since the central committee was given a five-year fresh term, they should also have the elections postponed by three years.”

Mnangagwa recently appointed many soldiers to his government and party and these people are desperate to have political constituencies, hence the likelihood they would elbow out sitting MPs in the primaries.

Retired Air Marshall Perrance Shiri was appointed Agriculture minister and the man who announced the military operation, Major General Sibusiso Moyo is the new Foreign Affairs minister.

Shiri is reportedly now earmarked for the Chikomba Central constituency, currently held by Felix Mhona.

Meanwhile, junior officers still serving have also been given a blank cheque to represent the party by the newly-appointed national commissar Major General Engelbert Rugeje, threating the positions of many sitting MPs.

The MDC-T, sources said, was rooting for de-harmonisation of the polls to exclude presidential elections. They hope to garner more seats, create a hung Parliament and force Mnangagwa into a unity government while Tsvangirai recovered.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday referred all questions to Rugeje, who was repeatedly not picking calls.

“It is news to me. I am somebody who has just arrived. I was not in the country; you can ask the commissariat department,” Moyo said.

Rugeje’s deputy Omega Hungwe refused to comment, and also referred questions to the national commissar.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu denied his party was part of the plot to postpone the elections.

“We are preparing for elections that will be held in the next few months and you can be assured that the MDC will romp to victory in any free and fair elections. That’s for sure,” he said.

Sources said Zanu PF MPs have engaged Norton MP Temba Mliswa to mobilise the legislators to push for the constitutional amendments to postpone elections.

Mliswa yesterday confirmed the plan, saying it would get majority support if voted in a secret ballot. He, however, denied driving the process.

He said postponement of the polls was in the best interest of MPs who were not given time to impress in their constituencies because of the harsh economic conditions under Mugabe.

“It has to be debated, that is what democracy is. It is already before Parliament. It was moved by Honourable [Priscilla] Misihairabwi-Mushonga [MDC Proportional representation] when she wanted us to deliberate the transitional government. I was supposed to second it but unfortunately I was not there. But it is already before Parliament, and it was seconded by Paurina Mpariwa [MDC-T]. It will be deliberated,” Mliswa said.

He said it was the democratic duty of Parliament to amend the Constitution and seek postponement of the elections, insisting it did not mean Mnangagwa’s administration was scared of elections, but conditions permitted such a move.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga however, said her motion recorded in the Parliament Order Paper of December 19 did not speak to the postponing of elections.

“He [Mliswa] does not have to manipulate my motion,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

“In its present form, my motion does not speak to postponement of elections. It’s either Mliswa has to amend it or introduce a new motion completely. My motion was to have the president invited to Parliament to answer questions on what happened during the military operation.”

8 Responses to ED faces internal revolt over polls

  1. munyaradzi January 21, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

    this is the only way that the military can be removed from the streets. zimbabwe has been under military rule for 38 years masquerading as zanu pf. in fact sometimes i pity mugabe, he wasn t president at all until he attempted to be. we all know this saying; a leopard which has tasted human blood…… that describes the military.

  2. Wololo January 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

    Very silly and misleading headline.

  3. Jemedzarinemapakondinoriziva Ukanzwandatibvumapanoyera January 22, 2018 at 5:17 am #

    Mutori wenhau, kana mapato maviri aya anematambudziko aakatarisana nawo ose, zvino chiyi chakuratidza kuti MDC-A inokunda sarudzo?
    Kana sarudzo dzirikuenerera mberi, pane mari here yekuti dziitwe, uye imari irikudiwa? Mari ndochinu chikuru chinotanga kutariskwa. Nekuti pane zvakawanda zvinoda kudzirwa sarudzo dzisati
    dzaitwa. Ini ndinoti, kana pasina mari ngadzisaitwa
    Pobvumiranwa kuti dzozoitwa rini. Izvi zvekuti mauto anozo, dzanhemawo. Anga vaRugeje vakamboti vachapinda musarudzo vanosungirwa kuva nemakore makumi mana anemashnu zvichidzika. Zvakawiriranwa here mubato ravo? Vatapi venhauwo, igonyorayi nhau dzinodyidzana nemusoro wenhu.

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  5. Jan Van Der Voort January 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    Where in the world are elections postponed because the leader of a party is sick?????

    Where in the world are elections postponed because lazy/useless MP’s are afraid to lose their jobs?????

    The constitution is the constitution, 2018 is election year so no postponement!

    The international community (where the money is supposed to come from, isnt’it?) is expecting elections as per the constitution, 2018 is election year so no postponement!

    • Clem Kuvheya January 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

      You are damn correct mate. Elections must be held on time as per constitution. PPle here are jokers

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  7. Kwidz January 26, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

    The reasons being given to postpones the election is not valid. We as the electors of those charged with governing over our matters (not ruling us, as some quarters like to believe) expect to be asked, as per usual every 5 years, whom we select to handle our affairs. And we have alot of grievances. If we don’t get this chance to speak out then these grievances will go unchecked, and not addressed. They are many, I’m wondering if I should spell them out here….okay, just a few.
    We don’t have clean water, we have some sludge coming out of the taps and yet we pay rates.
    The state of the roads, yet we pay our toll gate fees.
    Schools in rural areas are just trees with shade in summer and some metal sheets in winter. No books, no teachers, no education for our kids.
    I could go on, unemployment rates, bank queues, industrial capacity, housing crisis (why should I rent into my 40’s and 50’s? Our pensions at NSSA are a pittance yet we paid in for decades. The Chinese monopolising the economy in terms of contracts, jobs, pricing and much more.
    These polls were due, there is nothing early about them, bring them on. If ED gets soldiers to run as MP’s perhaps they can bring some semblance of order and delivery like they did during their November coup. Taneta with MP’s who want to postpones things simply so they can benefit.
    The country should come first.
    Kwidini@gmail.com

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