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CCC Ready to Compete with Zanu-PF’s Young Turks

Fadzayi Mahere

Opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it is unfazed by Zanu-PF’s approach to field young candidates for its upcoming primary elections saying the young turks will not change anything politically.

Several ruling party youths have shown interest in contesting against the old politicians, which some believe is a shift from the Zanu-PF of old and want to challenge the opposition which traditionally enjoys support from young voters.

However, CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere told 263Chat that her party will is not worried by the move but said this brings a wealth of competition for both parties.

“Old wine in new wineskins remains old wine. We are not bothered at all by any manoeuvres by ZANU PF. In fact, we welcome competition. Zanu-PF can never win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. The bad governance crisis is caused by ZANU PF’s incompetence, corruption and failure.

“Changing faces don’t change the toxic political culture that they represent. You can never put lipstick on a frog and expect the citizens to be deceived,” Mahere said.

The candidates will be vying for the 210 national assembly seats, 1 970 wards, 60 senatorial seats, 60 women’s quota, and 10 youths quota.

For the opposition, the goal is to be different from the ruling party, according to Mahere.

“Our plan for progress goes beyond identity politics. We want to install new, ethical leaders who will introduce a new way of doing politics in Zimbabwe. Communities will choose their leaders and the process will be inclusive of the young, women and all who are marginalized. This is how we will win Zimbabwe for change,” Mahere said.

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Political analysts say the move by ZanuPF is unsurprising as all parties are mandated to comply with the constitutional provision to have youths as candidates.

“In terms of the selection of youth members of the National Assembly under the new section 45E (1)(c), which clause 6 of the Bill will insert in the Act, parties will apparently have to present their complete party lists of young people to the nomination courts in every province, even though only one of them would be elected,” political analyst, Owen Dhliwayo said.

Another analyst, Lazarus Sauti said although this is a good development, ZanuPF will eventually side-swipe the young candidates in favour of the older ones.

“I’ve seen campaign posters for young individuals running in the ZANU PF primary elections. Most of them want to be councillors. This is a positive development since it aids the party’s self-transformation. However, ZANU PF consistently reserves its “tried and tested” cadres for MP slots, which is worrisome. So, these young people might be used to lure young voters.

“Remember, the central tenet of ZANU’s ideology is the assertion that “it freed this country,” which is what the party thrives on. The old turkeys, not the young ones, were the ones who fought in the liberation war, and the old guard will thus be supported in the upcoming primary elections,” Sauti said.

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This year’s election will be a watershed as it will see the election of the ten youth members of the National Assembly referred to in section 124(1)(c) of the Constitution.

Young people are expected to play a significant role in this year’s election as more than 2.3 million youths in Zimbabwe are without jobs.

The latest statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) present a gloomy picture of the country’s unemployment levels, effectively contradicting the repeated claim by the government that unemployment is under control.

Tapiwa Chiriga, a human rights activist told this publication that: “There is no significant shift. It’s just that there is Youth Quota now so obviously every political party is going to be fielding youthful candidates at the Constituency and local government levels.

The ruling party, in the final stages of its ideological extinction, is about to witness the replacement of the old guard ordinary politicians by the new age ‘mbingas’ and influencers.”

Chiriga added that this is an internal problem of the ruling party that has little impact on the exploits and chances of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF has postponed the primary elections which were scheduled for this weekend owing to an overflow of candidates wanting to stand for election.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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