Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, has announced the preliminary results of its primary elections for 116 constituencies, revealing that most sitting legislators failed to make it. The announcement was made by ZANU PF National Political Commissar, Dr Mike Bimha, at a press briefing held at the party’s headquarters in Harare on Tuesday.
Dr Bimha reiterated that the preliminary results are not final and will be subject to confirmation by the Politburo. However, the announcement already indicates a significant shake-up in the party’s ranks, with several sitting legislators losing to new challengers.
Among the winners announced by Dr Bimha were Cde Vangelis Haritatos in the Muzvezve constituency, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni in Nkayi North, and Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi in Buhera West. Other winners include Cde Brian Mudhume in Masvingo North, Cde Farai Chigavazira in Chegutu West, and Cde Simbarashe Ziyambi in Makonde.
The party’s representative for Chikomba West will be Cde Tatenda Mavetera, Cde Felix Mhona will represent Chikomba East, and Cde Farai Jere will represent Murehwa West.
The results have been welcomed by some as a sign that ZANU PF is taking steps towards democratization and allowing for new blood within the party. However, others have expressed concern about the possibility of a more fragmented party, with sitting legislators who lost their primaries potentially running as independent candidates in the general elections.
Zimbabwe is set to hold general elections in 2023, and ZANU PF’s primary elections were seen as a crucial first step towards selecting candidates for the polls. With these preliminary results in, the party is now expected to finalize its candidate list and begin campaigning ahead of the elections.