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Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF ropes in CIO, military in poll plot

by Staff reporter
21 May 2023 at 08:13hrs | Views
Zanu-PF's elaborate plan to deploy state security services such as the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the military as part of its strategy to win the harmonised elections at all costs has been laid bare in internal communication.

Since the 2017 coup that toppled long time ruler Robert  Mugabe, his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been increasingly involving the Central Intelligence  Organisation (CIO) and the military in Zanu-PF internal politics.

According to the constitution, the intelligence services and the military are supposed  to be apolitical.

Last month, the CIO running under the shadowy Friends Association of Zimbabwe (FAZ) ran the ruling  party's primary elections.

FAZ, led by CIO deputy director general Walter Tapfumaneyi, had the major say in the primaries.

The group was assisted by an army-linked group Heritage Trust, to conduct the elections.

This publication has obtained a Zanu-PF internal memo addressed to provincial chairpersons by political commissar Mike Bimha, dated May 19 informing them that FAZ and Heritage will play a huge role in the upcoming voter registration inspection exercise.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has not announced when it will open the national voters' roll for inspection.

However, Bimha said the exercise will be done soon, raising questions about Zanu-PF's relationship with the elections management body.

According to Bimha, Zanu-PF will set up national, constituency and polling centre command centres to monitor the voter inspection exercise.

These shall be manned by provincial commissars from the main wing, women's, youth and war veteran's league, provincial FAZ and Heritage Trust liaison officers.

"For this programme to be a success, cell chairpersons and a team comprising cell main wing provincial chairperson, cell women's league chairwoman, cell youth league chairperson and a war veteran at each polling station should be responsible and account for each member in the cell register," Bimha wrote.

"This team led by the cell chairperson shall physically lead their cell members to the polling station, and retain an auditable record confirming each member's inspection status.

"It is very critical that data capture is done diligently for this programme.

"Constituency experts, (FAZ) and Heritage Trust constituency coordinators will monitor and capture data at each polling station as well as submit daily reports to the command centres."

The memo was copied to Zanu-PF second secretary Kembo Mohadi, secretary general Obert Mpofu, national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri and spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa.

"Central committee members, national constitutional assembly (NCA) Members of Parliament (MPs)-elect, sitting MPS and district coordinating committee (DCC) members, constituency experts from FAZ and Heritage liason officers will assist with supervision of the programmes throughout the constituency as well as motivating and directing lower party structures to go and inspect their names," Bimha said.

Bimha said the ruling party will use the exercise to audit and update its cell registers.

"Undertake an audit of party members registered with Zec  who are eligible to vote on the election day," he said.

"Test the capability of party structures to mobilise members to inspect the voters roll and reflect the party's capabilities to mobilise on the election day.

"Identify gaps in mobilisation capacity and implement appropriate remedies ahead of the harmonised elections and update cell registers and recruit new members."

He added: "Ensure that party members identify and familiarise with new boundaries and polling stations following the just-ended delimitation."

Mnangagwa has said he will proclaim election dates before the end of the month.

Source - The Standard