Sunday, November 11, 2012

Zimbabwe Ruling Party Embraces Young Turks

Zanu-PF embraces Young Turks

Saturday, 10 November 2012 21:15
Sunday Mail Reporter

Zanu-PF has embraced an emerging crop of professionals who have expressed interest in running for Parlia­mentary seats during next year’s har­monised elections, the revolution­ary party’s spokesman had stated.

Cde Rugare Gumbo has disclosed that the “new Turks”, as the youthful cadres are being referred to, are free to throw their hats into the ring when the party holds its primary elections.

Speaking in an interview on the side­lines of last week’s Politburo meeting, the Zanu-PF spokesman added that the party recognises the need to inject new blood and urged the new Turks to show loyalty to the party as they gun for lead­ership posts.

“The issue of these so-called new Turks is an interesting and important dimension for the party and we would like to put it on record that we welcome all these young and enterprising people who are coming from the corporate world to invigorate the party,” he said.

Cde Gumbo dismissed assertions that the emergence of the Young Turks will create divisions in the party as the old guard seeks to safeguard its “terri­tory.”

“We have made it clear that there is not going to be any imposition of candi­dates in the forthcoming elec­tions, so everyone will be on an equal footing when the primary elections come.

“All the young guns have to do is to show commitment, loyalty and support the policies of the party. They must demonstrate that their allegiance is not a fly-by-night attraction but that it has deep foundations guided by the princi­ples and values of the party,” he said.

Cde Gumbo also encouraged the “new Turks” to start working within the party structures and make their posi­tions clear on whether they intend to participate in primary polls whose dates will be announced after the 13th National People’s Conference to be held in Gweru next month.

The list of the Young Turks who are said to be eyeing the House of Assem­bly include journalist Supa Mandi­wanzira, business executive Mr Chamu Chi­wanza, lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange, miller Mr Tafadzwa Musarara, Dr Paul Chimedza and for­mer RBZ chief advisor Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, among others. While some chose to play their cards close to their chests, others like Mr Samukange were emphatic in declaring their interests.

“I have made it clear that I want to contest in Mudzi South and I am not going back on that position. I am keener than ever to work for Zanu-PF.

“If things go according to plan, I will quit my current position in law to take a more advisory or consultancy duty so that I can put all my energies in poli­tics,” he said.

Cde Chiwanza, who at 32 is one of the youngest political aspirants, did not mince his words about his political ambitions.

“Look, I have always been a member of Zanu-PF, the party runs through my blood. I am availing myself to the peo­ple in my constituency and they are the ones who advised me that I should take a shot at the Mabvuku seat,” he said.

Cde Chiwanza, who is the Affirma­tive Action Group (AAG) senior vice-president, noted that the youths have an important role to play in propelling Zanu-PF forward.

Mr Musarara, who is the chief execu­tive of a leading milling company and is reportedly eyeing a seat in Mazowe West Con­stituency, said he is ready to stand for election if “the peo­ple say so.”

“Zanu-PF is the party that I have cho­sen to support. I come from Mazowe West Constituency and if the people there choose me to represent them, I will take up the honour with pride,” he said. Mr Mandiwanzira could neither confirm nor deny his political interest.

“I own a radio station so it may not be in my best interests to declare my political aspirations,” he said.

Dr Kereke said it was still too early to affirm his political interests.

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