The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Poll Guidelines Vital, Timely

editorial

Zanu — On Wednesday this week the party unveiled rules and regulations to guide aspirants for membership to the Youth and Women's leagues set for next month. These rules and regulations relate to the age and minimum period of service to the party at national level by the applicant in the case of the Youth League.

In the case of the Women's League, the applicant must have been a member of the party for at least 20 years and to have served at national level during that period. Clear enough.

This is important. At the very least, it shows that Zanu-PF wants to lead by example by setting clear rules and regulations for all those who aspire to key party positions.

This is in the interest of transparency. It reduces cases of people complaining that they were ambushed or unfairly disqualified.

Transparency should also help maintain unity in the party. People should be able to campaign knowing what the rules and regulations are. This can only strengthen the party in the long run.

As party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo pointed out at the end of the Politburo meeting on Wednesday, there were people who had already begun lobbying and campaigning for election to positions in both the Youth and Women's leagues before they knew what the qualifying criteria were.

Such people, he said, might have wasted their resources if it turns out now that they don't qualify.

More importantly, he stated that all the aspirants who met the rules and regulations were required to apply to secure the approval of the Politburo for them to contest for the various positions.

It is almost inevitable that for a mass party, there will be many members who will be disappointed by these rules and regulations.

They might feel unfairly discriminated for whatever reason. That is normal and almost natural.

It is, however, important to point out that a revolutionary party like Zanu-PF has a pedigree that fully understands the internal and external dynamics. It has enemies in the country and outside. It needs people who can withstand all forms of pressure and inducements.

It needs people who can keep the faith and guard against infiltration even by agents of imperialism.

We believe those are the reasons why it is important for the Politburo to come up with the final list of those who qualify to contest beyond the basic rules and regulations announced on Wednesday.

What is required is that this message is communicated and explained through party structures. A party with a disciplined cadre should not find this difficult. People also know members who are dedicated and committed to the cause of the party and those who want to further their nests.

Such people should not be allowed to occupy strategic positions in the liberation war movement.

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