Minister Owen Ncube

Zanu PF parliamentary candidates have been warned against garnering more votes than President Emmerson Mnangagwa in next month’s elections.

Former State Security minister Owen Ncube, who is Zanu PF’s Midlands security chief, told aspirant MPs at a rally it would be a “cardinal sin” to outvote “baba” Mnangagwa on August 23.

He said Mnangagwa, as party leader, must get the most votes. “So when we are campaigning, it’s the President first, followed by the MP and then the councillor,” Ncube said.

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ED only narrowly won the last election amid claims some Zanu PF bigwigs engineered votes against him. Now there are fears of a “bhora musango” protest vote against the under-fire President.

After the 2018 elections, ED himself admitted there were plots within the party to sabotage his candidacy. He warned: “I know these people who were saying ‘vote for the MP, but do as you wish for the President’.”

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Sources say Zanu PF heavyweights are now being warned not to outshine, outvote or outmanoeuvre the President in next month’s crunch election.

Analysts say the warning signals an overly suspicious ED desperate to avoid a repeat of 2008 when Robert Mugabe lost votes to his own Zanu PF MPs.

But will prominent Zanu PF officials like Ncube follow Mnangagwa’s instructions on polling day? Only the ballot box knows…

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