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ZANU PF deploys FAZ agents for by-elections

ZEC

ZANU PF has deployed members of the Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) organization to Harare East and Mt Pleasant constituencies ahead of by-elections on Saturday, 27 April.

FAZ is a ZANU PF affiliate that gained notoriety during the August 2023 harmonized elections when its agents set up “Exit Polls” desks outside polling stations.

An exit poll is a survey conducted right after voters leave the polling stations. Pollsters inquire about the candidate and party preferences of voters as they exit the voting location.

According to NewsDay, ZANU PF provincial vice-chairman for Harare Ephraim Fundukwa told Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga at a rally in Harare East recently that the party had deployed FAZ and Heritage Trust members at each polling station in the by-elections. He said:

I want to tell you Vice-President [Chiwenga] that the Harare province team is working hard. We have 50 polling stations for the by-election. On each of the polling stations, we have set teams of 20 members.

The teams are being led by provincial, FAZ, the Heritage Trust and Young Women for ED members who are campaigning.

FAZ president Kudakwashe Munsaka told NewsDay on Thursday that his organisation is always at ZANU PF’s service. Said Munsaka:

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 its campaign for any envisaged by-elections or any restructuring exercises for its organs, we will willingly oblige. We live to serve, as our motto aptly asserts.

FAZ attracted widespread attention during the ZANU PF restructuring exercise in 2022 and the party’s primary elections the following year when it was accused of rigging the polls in favour of particular candidates.

Foreign observer missions to Zimbabwe’s 2023 general elections, among them the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM), the Commonwealth EOM, and the Southern African Development Community EOM, raised concern over the presence of FAZ in rural areas where its members allegedly intimidated voters.

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