HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has announced members of a national elections directorate, expected to steer the party towards crucial elections next year.
An official list seen by the Daily News showed the directorate would be headed by Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo and will also include First Lady and women’s league boss Grace Mugabe, youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga, national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa and his security counterpart Kembo Mohadi.
The directorate has five subcommittees, with Jonathan Moyo heading research, Obert Mpofu — finance, Mohadi — security, Chinamasa — legal and Kasukuwere heading the management committee.
“The directorate’s mandate is among other things to direct, co-ordinate, monitor and supervise primary elections including the selection of candidates. It’s also responsible for election campaigns. It will also mobilise resources for campaigns for the harmonised elections in 2018,” Chombo told the Daily News yesterday.
Analysts said the three commissions look factionally balanced with technocrats and officials assigned according to the portfolios they head in Zanu PF.
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said the development shows that Mugabe has always played a balancing act in dealing with the factional convulsions in Zanu PF.
“We have approached the end game in these vicious power struggles hence each faction sees the need to draw first blood because it’s a situation whereby if you lose you lose all, including even your life and primary elections will be the new theatre of action and we were given a glimpse of what to expect during the primary elections for the Norton by-election,” Masunugure said.
With less than a year to go, before the high stakes poll, there are already some tell-tale signs that Zanu PF is indeed leaving no room for surprises.
It seems the building blocks being laid by the party’s elections directorate ahead of elections do not favour a hierarchical approach, with rank outsiders allowed to challenge the status quo.
With the exception of the first secretary and his two deputies, there are prospects of incumbents being challenged.