The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Not Stringent On Wannabe Politicians

Zanu-PF is a democratic party and can allow people who have served it for less than five years to represent it in general elections, party Secretary for Information and Publicity, Cde Rugare Gumbo, has said.

He said the requirement that a person wishing to run on a Zanu-PF ticket during an election should have served the party for a certain number of years was not cast in stone.

Cde Gumbo said the revolutionary party was accommodative of young people willing to join its ranks.

"As a rule, for someone to stand for the party in an election he/she should have served a minimum number of years, say five but that is not cast in stone," Cde Gumbo told The Herald at his party offices on Thursday.

"You will find someone who is extremely popular may have served the party for two years. We may have to waiver the requirements . . . the principles do not operate in a vacuum.

"There is machinery in place to assess the candidates, namely, the National Elections Directorate which has to check on a particular person's background and popularity."

He said as the old guard gave away, "Young Turks" should carry on with the party's agenda and vision. "We waged a struggle but we cannot go on forever and we welcome new blood and ideas in the party . . . When we took part in the liberation struggle we were young and now we are old.

"The young people should be allowed to continue with the struggle. President Mugabe has been saying we need young executives and business people in the party. We need an integrated approach of incorporating the young and the old. We are the role models and we create synergies with the young."

Cde Gumbo expressed satisfaction with the crop of young leaders in Zanu-PF.

"Young people emerging from Zanu-PF are well prepared and they know the issues...they are well guided by the leadership unlike those from the MDC formations who have nobody to learn from as leadership there is rotten."

On the forthcoming 13th Zanu-PF Annual People's Conference, Cde Gumbo said the party would tackle issues such as factionalism and emphasise that there should be no imposition of candidates.

He also expressed confidence Zanu-PF would win elections set for next year.

"We are well prepared," Cde Gumbo said.

"Zanu-PF is a well-oiled machine. We have strategies in place and all that is left is implementing them . . . These are crucial elections and there will be no games."

The conference will be held in Gweru next week.

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