ZANU PF has revealed that it is having sleepless nights over dozens of sprouting shadowy for-ED groups being formed to ostensibly buttress President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election bid in general elections pencilled for later this year.
The ruling party, which has reportedly been in sixes and sevens over how to rein in the numerous grouping being formed by teachers, lawyers, pastors, health workers, journalists, among others, has admitted that many of the groups are now a nuisance whose main agenda is proving to be more than just supporting Mnangagwa, but to obtain some financial benefits.
With several others preparing to launch, the formations have, however, reportedly widened fissures within the ruling party as Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga purportedly battle for supremacy, with the anti-Mnangagwa camp describing the for-ED affiliates as parallel structures within the party.
Some of the affiliates have allegedly been taking advantage of their association with Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to live lavish lives after getting government contracts to supply various goods and items.
Addressing a Press conference on Friday, Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha lashed out at the for-ED organisations for failing to respect party structures, a situation that has triggered confusion in the ruling party.
“First of all I want to talk about affiliates. We have witnessed a proliferation of organisations coming in the form of such and such for ED. We have Young Women for ED, Farmers for ED, we have lawyers for ED and many others.
“We welcome the proliferation of these organisations mainly there to support the party, the President and our objective to achieve five million plus votes for the President and the party. However, we would want these organisations to be formalised,” Bimha said.
He, however, added: “We see organisations are coming forward and applying for status, but at the same time they come and say, ‘can we have loans for our projects’. Affiliates are not formed to get loans. Those organisations who want facilities for their projects or who want to benefit from empowerment programmes are free to do so and approach other relevant departments of the party. They can also approach the government in terms of those institutions that promote small businesses and joint ventures, among others.
“They can also approach institutions such as the Women’s Banks and the Empowerment bank in terms of funding their projects. We also want to urge the chapters of these affiliates in provinces to liaise with our provincial structures. What we would want to discourage is affiliates forming around existing membership of the party. We would like to believe that most of those affiliates who are supporting the party and the President are looking for new members eventually who come and join Zanu PF”
The ruling party has also tightened the procedures the for-ED groups should follow to be recognised by the party.
He said the for-ED groups should apply for affiliation through the commissariat department and should have a constitution and a list of executives, among other prerequisites.
“They have to apply for an affiliation status. You don’t just come one day and say, for example, we are Journalists for ED. You need to go through a process where you apply for affiliation status.
“We want to make sure that those affiliates that have been accorded status, when they have issues or want to approach the party, their link to Zanu PF is through the commissariat department.
“We do not want confusion where some affiliates go to the finance department or the Information department, among others. Their link department is the Commissariat department,” he added.
Bimha also warned the for-ED groups against creating parallel structures within the party.