RECENT political violence that rocked the ruling Zanu PF party elections to choose Masvingo provincial youth chairperson has unsettled the party’s youth league boss John Paradza.
The post was left vacant after Paradza was elected into the national executive as Zanu PF deputy secretary for youth affairs.
Elections, held at Masvingo Polytechnic a fortnight ago to choose his successor, had to be suspended after youths exchanged blows in front of the provincial leadership.
“The most important thing as youths is to be disciplined. Our President Emmerson Mnangagwa has already said that we should be disciplined and be united. I condemn the violence in the strongest terms. I don’t want that. If you (contestants) fail to control your supporters, then how are you going to lead the province?” Paradza said during an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the Heroes Day celebrations at the National Heroes Acre in the capital on Monday.
Paradza also said he was not rooting for anyone for the vacant post.
“I am not backing anyone in the elections that are set to replace me. I don’t have any interest in the elections. I am now in the national executive, but I have said to all the candidates that ‘if you are the best candidate, you are going to win’. I want the best candidate to win,” he said
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Mashonaland East province has rolled out what it calls “mop-up campaigns” in a bid to grab all 23 seats in the 2023 elections.
Zanu PF boasts 21 out of 23 constituencies in Mashonaland East after losing Goromonzi South and Marondera Central to the opposition in the last election.
Addressing scores of party supporters at Gumbonzvanda in Hwedza South constituency at the weekend, provincial chairperson Daniel Garwe said they were eyeing massive votes from Hwedza, Uzumba, Maramba, Pfungwe (UMP) and Goromonzi
“Out of 79 000 people who have registered to vote in Hwedza, at least 80% (of the votes) must go to President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Garwe said.
“There is a huge population in Goromonzi and UMP and we should put an eagle eye on these districts by stressing vigorous mop-up campaigns to increase the President’s votes.”
The province recently appointed a high-powered delegation led by politburo member David Parirenyatwa that is moving in districts mobilising people to register to vote.
The team is also assisting its members to obtain identity documents which are needed for voter registration and voting.
Zanu PF says it plans to mobilise five million votes, while Citizens Coalition for Change is eyeing six million.