Zanu-PF has ordered its members aspiring to be candidates in the forthcoming harmonised polls to immediately suspend individual campaigns and channel efforts towards the "Yes" vote strategy ahead of Saturday's referendum. The party also challenged members that are not mobilising supporters to register as voters to vacate office and leave the duty to committed cadres.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo last Friday said the party would announce guidelines for primary elections after the referendum.
"Accordingly, no party member should be seen to be pursuing individual interests at this time or at any other time. We work as a collective force and our main thrust at the moment is on making sure the new Constitution sails through. That must remain our foremost priority until March 16.
"Soon after the referendum, however, the party will spell out what rules and regulations will govern the conduct of primary elections and then full-scale campaigning can begin. But until then, we expect that every member in every part of Zimbabwe should adhere to this very simple guideline," he said.
Addressing supporters in Harare yesterday, deputy secretary for finance Cde Charles Tavengwa also challenged the party leadership to ensure the party wins this year's harmonised elections.
He made the remarks while mobilising Zanu-PF supporters to endorse the draft Constitution in the forthcoming referendum.
"It is surprising that some of you who hold positions at various levels are not registered and this should not continue going on.
"You should leave those posts and let committed cadres do the duty. How can you expect people to register when their leader has not done that?" said Cde Tavengwa.
He said 2013 was a year for electoral victory for Zanu-PF and restructuring of cells was critical.
"This is the year we should defeat all our enemies once and for all. We should start preparing for the elections to register a resounding victory.
"Be wary of prospective candidates who can use cheap politics to garner support. This is divisive and should not be allowed."
Zanu-PF supporters, Cde Tavengwa said, should vote "Yes" in the referendum.
"The draft is pro-people and Zanu-PF should endorse it to set the tone for a resounding victory in the impending elections.
"All our rights are contained in the draft and there is no need for going against it. Some retrogressive people have tried blocking it, but they have failed."
He explained chapters contained in the draft to the supporters.
Cde Tavengwa said contentious issues, including the executive authority, devolution and dual citizenship, were solved.
"The document also safeguards the values of the liberation struggle and states that we should be masters of our destiny through empowerment programmes," he said.
"The Constitution-making process Shelve individual campaigns, aspiring candidates told is a journey and we are not yet there because Zimbabweans have not yet voted for the draft. It will only be complete once you endorse it.
"The President has got his powers in the draft and it is also important to note that the document is a victory for women," he said.
Cde Tendai Savanhu, who is deputy secretary for indigenisation and economic empowerment, also said everyone had a right to make decisions from an informed position.
"This is one of the final main meetings we are holding with district officials such that come Saturday, the draft will get an endorsement," he said.
Zanu-PF Harare provincial chairman Cde Amos Midzi said unity would propel the party to victory in the harmonised elections.
"There is nothing vital that can make us reclaim our seats other than unity. Let's work with one vision and spirit that saw us defeating colonialists during the liberation struggle," he said In Masvingo the provincial leadership rallied supporters to turn out in large numbers and vote "Yes" at the weekend.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Mawungwa business centre in Gutu South at the weekend, several senior party leaders encouraged supporters to vote "Yes" during the referendum on Saturday.
The Zanu PF Masvingo provincial leadership has called upon the people to turn out in large numbers and vote Yes during Saturday referendum.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters at a star rally at Mawungwa business centre in Gutu South at the weekend, senior party leaders urged supporters to ensure a resounding
Yes vote during the plebiscite seeking to give a nod to the draft constitution to become national law.
Zanu PF politburo member Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire said a Yes vote would be a great milestone in the history of the country.
"I want to challenge all party cadres to rally people across the province to go out in large numbers and resoundingly vote Yes at th referendum to be held at weekend. The referendum marks a very important stage in the history of our nation so we must go out in large numbers and vote Yes and set the stage for general elections thereafter," said Cde Mavhaire.
Another Zanu PF politburo member Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti echoed the same sentiments saying the referendum; "was a defining moment for the country."
Gutu South aspiring candidate and Zimpapers board chairperson Dr Paul Chimedza, warned Zanu PF supporters against complacency.
He said the referendum on a new constitution held in 2000 was a classic example of what happens when people become complacent.
"Let us go out in large numbers and vote Yes at the referendum next week and we should never be complacent because history has already taught us what can happen if we are complacent. In the year 2 000 when we held a referendum on a new constitution we were a little bit complacent and the outcome of the referendum was not favourable to us and we do not want to repeat that same mistake so lets go out in large numbers and vote Yes," said Dr Chimedza.
He urged the people of Gutu South and Masvingo in general to start campaigning for President Mugabe so that he retains his post.
"Zanu-PF has already endorsed President as the sole candidate of the party in the general elections.
"Let us continue to support our tried and tested leader President Mugabe. We should spread President Mugabe's message so that come election time, he will win resoundingly. President Mugabe was endorsed as our party's candidate at the next election owing to his visionary and outstanding leadership so lets rally behind him," hesaid.
Dr Chimedza said other prospective candidates willing to represent Zanu-PF at the next elections could only start campaigning after primary election dates have been fixed by the party leadership.
He handed over food hampers to 26 orphans from Gutu South and pledged to pay their school fees.
Dr Chimedza told thousands of Zanu-PF supporters who braved rainy weather that he was inspired by President Mugabe to assist the under privileged.
The rally was attended by top Zanu-PF officials in Masvingo including Politburo member Cde Nelson Mawema, former Gutu South legislator Cde Shuvai Mahofa Mahofa, senior civil servants and farmers, among others.