By Anna Chibamu
ZANU PF is ready for by-elections and is proceeding with its primary elections despite an indefinite ban by the government for any plebiscite to be held to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The ruling party’s acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa confirmed Zanu PF would continue with its primary elections in all vacant constituencies and council wards.
Most of the vacant seats were created after the MDC-T interim president, Thokozani Khupe recalled several MPs and councillors elected 2018 under MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
“I want to make this clear, as far as Zanu PF is concerned, we are ready for elections,” Chinamasa told journalists Saturday.
The acting spokesperson was responding to questions on why Zanu PF continued to hold primary elections when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the government had suspended all by-elections.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who also doubles as the Minister of Health recently issued a decree banning the holding of all by-elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have been observing all the Covid-19 regulations, whether we go to our 2020 conference, these will be observed. If it does not, we will have to hold it as a virtual conference.
“To my knowledge, as Zanu PF, we have already started preparing for our primaries. The postponement of by-elections came because of Covid-19. If you are querying whether it was proper or not, put that to government.
“Regulations are issued by government. I do not see any double standards myself. When the situation is considered appropriate, the regulations will be relaxed to allow for by-elections to take place.
“Let me be clear, Zanu PF is ready today for any by-elections. We are ready any day. We will proceed and continue with our primary elections,” added Chinamasa.
He said the number of party members attending the primary elections was limited.
“The numbers were very small and the party had complied with the regulations of not having a gathering of not more than 100 people.”
However, Zanu PF primary elections in some areas have been marred by violence.
Last week, police officers in Kwekwe Central had to fire warning shots and teargas to disperse hundreds of Zanu PF supporters who had turned violent during primary elections in the constituency.
“This is something you cannot control in a political campaign because you are basically opening up to the whole population to come forward for rallies.”
Chinamasa also revealed that preparations for the 2020 party’s annual conference to be held in Bindura, Mashonaland Central in December were at an advanced stage.