FAZ to run crucial Zanu PF district elections

Brenna Matendere

Harare–Forever Associates of Zimbabwe Trust (FAZ), which has deep roots in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), will run the Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections to be held at a yet to be announced time this year, insiders have revealed.

The ruling party secretary general, Obert Mpofu, recently announced that Zanu PF was in the process of re-organising its cell, ward and district structures in preparation for the DCC elections following the expiry of the tenure of the previous district coordinators.

Obert Mpofu, Zanu PF secretary general

Agents working in FAZ told NewsHub in confidence that the CIO-linked outfit would coordinate the DCC elections just as they did during the Zanu PF parliamentary primaries ahead of the 2023 general elections.

This was despite the fact that the Zanu PF constitution as well as rules and regulations do not provide for an affiliate of the party to run its primaries, as that mandate falls within the elections directorate, a sub-unit of the national commissariat.

“The DCC elections are going to be our project. We will be processing the election registers. This involves vetting and monitoring the candidates. We will also be involved in the final selection of the candidates, in addition to managing the actual voting and counting of votes,” said one of the agents.

DCCs are considered to be highly strategic in Zanu PF because its leaders derive their power from them.

According to the party’s regulations and procedures, DCC members are elected from the third tier of the organisation’s ladder, namely the district. 

The districts draw their membership from the cells and branches, which stand at the bottom of the ladder but comprise the grassroots.

In the past, fierce power struggles among Zanu PF leaders have forced repeated dissolutions of DCCs whose members, according to the party, in turn constitute the three major wings of the institution. These are the main, youth and women’s leagues.

In 2012, the late former president, Robert Mugabe, banned DCCs after factions aligned to the current president and his bitter rival, Joice Mujuru, were locked in intense fights that caused acute divisions in Zanu PF.

The DCCs have direct influence on who is elected into the provincial coordinating committees, the central committee—the “the principal organ” of the party that is tasked with implanting all party policies, resolutions, directives and programmes in-between congresses—and the national constitutive assembly as well as the politburo, the party’s supreme decision-making secretariat.

DCC members are eligible to attend the party’s congress as delegates with voting rights and this makes them key factors in succession dynamics of the party.

Another FAZ agent said the association would ensure that party members loyal to President Emmerson Mnangagwa got elected into the DCCs, a revelation that has been interpreted to mean that the party and State leader is using the outfit to consolidate his power.

“FAZ still has the faith of the current leaders, mostly President Mnangagwa after the organisation helped him clinch a second term (during the August 2023 elections.) We are running with him,” he said.

President Mnangagwa in apostolic garments in election time

The association reportedly received more than US$10 million for its campaign last year, and the money is suspected to have been channeled through the CIO, whose deputy director general, Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, heads FAZ

Critics suspect that FAZ is funded from treasury and the country’s natural resources, in addition to financial support from powerful elites benefiting from Zanu PF rule.

The media has reported that President Mnangagwa is gunning for a third term after the expiry of the second one in 2028. His supporters are said to have adopted a new slogan that calls for him to be in office beyond 2028.

Kudakwashe Munsaka, the FAZ president, recently told NewsHub that his organisation, which he says has already removed its agents from Zanu PF structures to ensure “impartiality”, would involve itself in electoral processes relating to the party.

“Our organisation prioritises Zanu PF campaigns and each time the party is going into an election, we go on the ground to work,” said Munsaka.

Munsaka said his organisation was ready to run the DCC elections but claimed Zanu PF had not yet approached them.

“We have said umpteen times that we are an affiliate of Zanu PF, and this has not changed. Yes, indeed, if the party deploys us to assist in its DCC elections or any other envisaged restructuring exercise, we will willingly oblige. We live to serve, as our motto aptly asserts,” he told NewsHub.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, refused to comment. “Please talk to the commissar (Michael Bimha),” he said.

Bimha did not respond to calls and a messages sent to him via Whatsapp.

Michael Bimha, Zanu PF national commissar

After campaigning for Zanu PF in last year’s general elections, FAZ was again active ahead of and during the 3 February 2024 by-elections that had been forced by recalls with the citizen Coalition for Change (CCC).


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