PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday warned his top lieutenant, Christopher Mutsvangwa and other disgruntled party members to be disciplined, saying if they continued showing signs of ill-discipline, they would find the party too hot to handle, as the circus over Zanu PF’s primaries plays out in full public glare.
In a thinly-veiled attack on Mutsvangwa, Mnangagwa said the party was bigger than individuals and gave a chilling warning to disgruntled officials, who are exhibiting signs of indiscipline.
“The party is bigger than its individual members,” he said.
“It is a mass party, the people’s party.
“Zanu PF is like a pocket, we can all fit in that Zanu PF pocket.
“But if you want to take Zanu PF and put it in your pocket, you will get burnt until you remove the party from your pocket.
“A such, we, as members of party, must recognise the enormousness of the party and its rich ideology.”
Mutsvangwa lost in Zanu PF’s primaries and like a raging bull in a china shop, has accused the party’s political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, of being a political novice.
The war veterans’ chairman has also claimed elections were rigged against him, with the police playing a central role.
“Furthermore, as we reflect on the recent primary elections, and ready ourselves for a united, solid and formidable campaign ahead, I encourage us to be guided by our party constitution, which obligates each and every one of us to be loyal to the party and to observe and abide by its polices, rules and regulations,” Mnangagwa said.
While the festivities were in full swing at the launch of the manifesto, barely 500 metres away, disgruntled Zanu PF supporters were waving placards and demonstrating at the party’s headquarters, peeved by the primary elections.
In the auditorium, where the manifesto was launched, some braver or angrier supporters shouted, heckled and interjected speeches, calling for a rerun of the primaries.
To cap off the fiasco, Zanu PF failed to present its candidates for this year’s elections at the launch of its manifesto, as they had said they would in the programme, the clearest sign all was not well in the party.
In the face of the chaotic scenes, Zanu PF will this morning hold a politburo meeting to iron out the differences, which threaten the party’s 38-year-old grip on power.
Mnangagwa said they might order a rerun of primary elections in some constituencies, saying internal democracy must be widened and strengthened and bias must be erased from the party.
“The days of imposition, chicanery and favouritism in our internal electoral processes are dead and buried, never to be resurrected no matter the person’s status or standing,” he said.
“We have always been and will always be obligated to do everything in the interest of the people and rely on their strength and carry out the principle of from the people to the people.
“We must fully respect their wishes, experience, rights and roles.
“We should cherish the power conferred on us by the people and our party membership and exercise it discreetly and welcome the supervision.”
Zanu PF will be parcelling out top-of-the-range vehicles to all its National Assembly candidates and other party functionaries as one of its campaign strategies.
In the manifesto, Zanu PF is promising jobs, improvement on the management of agriculture and mining sectors, infrastructure development and attraction of more foreign direct investment.