HARARE – Zanu PF primaries in Zimbabwe have been marred by violence and intimidation, prompting President Emmerson Mnangagwa to order a re-run in areas where such incidents were reported.
The primaries were held last week, and according to reports, violence erupted in various parts of the country with allegations of gunshots, kidnapping, and rape.
Addressing the politburo on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa reiterated his zero-tolerance policy towards violence and ordered a re-run of the elections in constituencies and wards where violence occurred.
The President’s tough stance on violence was reiterated by the Zanu PF spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa told journalists that Mnangagwa was clear on the issue of violence and that he had instructed the party to disqualify candidates involved in violence.
He added that re-runs would be ordered in cases where violence was mutual.
Mutsvangwa also stated that a comprehensive list of areas where re-runs would be conducted would be provided after the primaries are completed.
“Zanu PF is a big house and anybody can come to the house,” he said.
The Zanu PF primaries saw several bigwigs fall by the wayside in what has been described as a “weekend bloodbath.”
The situation has resulted in acrimony within the party, with some members calling for an investigation into the violence and intimidation that marred the primaries.
The re-run of the primaries is expected to bring some calm to the situation and ensure that the party’s nomination process is free and fair.
The move has been welcomed by many Zimbabweans who have expressed concern about the violence and intimidation that have characterised Zimbabwean politics in recent years.
As the country prepares for the general elections, scheduled for later this year, it had hoped that the Zanu PF primaries will set a precedent for peaceful and transparent elections in the country.