The impending Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections have presented a new battlefield for party bigwigs, who are scheming to consolidate their political power in various provinces ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party is currently receiving curriculum vitae (CVs) from prospective candidates who will then undergo a rigorous vetting process, before one can contest the polls whose dates are yet to be set.
Already, the process has been mired in controversy, with allegations that senior party officials were manipulating aspiring candidates, while in some instances, aspirants were outrightly barred from presenting their credentials on flimsy reasons.
The chaos and political gamesmanship further threaten to divide an already fractured party, with Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga reportedly tussling for party control.
Sources, who requested anonymity, said the DCCs were a grassroots power base, and whoever controlled most of the districts will ultimately control provinces, which can, at anytime, call for a special congress to elect a party president.
“The hype surrounding these DCC polls is evidence Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are both plotting to consolidate their power among party structures. It’s all about the two trying to checkmate each other,” said a top Zanu PF official.
Zanu PF has started the process of setting up DCC structures in the remaining eight provinces after recently installing new leaderships in Harare and Bulawayo.
Despite the impending national census that would determine the constituency boundaries, those vying for parliamentary seats are already campaigning for themselves, another source further said.
This, the source said, exposed the Zanu PF 2023 presidential candidate which could result in them garnering fewer votes than aspiring legislators.
Zanu PF national political commissar, Victor Matemadanda all but confirmed the shenanigans in an interview with the State media, this week.
“In some districts, people were manipulating the process for their preferred candidates. I am going to compile a report for the politburo and give a list of those that are involved in the manipulation and then the politburo will decide what to do with them.
“Surely, I did not expect that and the party was not expecting it, especially from provincial leaders. This has consequences on their future. No one is happy about this,” Matemadanda was quoted saying.
On Thursday this week, aspiring DCC candidates were set to re-submit CVs in five provinces.
Mashonaland West had aspirants re-submitting their CVs in Chegutu, Kadoma and Muzvezve districts.
In Manicaland, chaos reigned supreme in Buhera district where some top officials reportedly imposed their preferred candidates, which was in flagrant violation of set guidelines.
In Mashonaland East, the affected areas were Mutoko, Mudzi, Goromonzi, and Marondera, while in Midlands, there will be a rerun of the CV collection exercise in Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Gweru, Vungu and Chiundura.
In Matabeleland South, Douglas Mahiya has been deployed to collect CVs in Bulilima where the process was also shrouded in controversy.
This weekend, Zanu PF will dispatch senior politburo officials to various provinces to collect CVs for onward transmission to the commissariat department at its headquarters.
Curiously, the mix of the 14-member politburo team deployed to superintend over the processes, is comprised predominantly of Mnangagwa loyalists.
These include Local Government minister July Moyo, Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Zanu PF administration secretary Obert Mpofu and Christopher Mutsvangwa.