If a political party does not have internal democracy it must not contest national elections


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Guruve South legislator Patrick Dutiro says if a political party does not have an internal democratic process, it must not contest national elections.

Speaking during the debate on the motion calling for the barring of those who advocate for sanctions from holding public office, Dutiro said some Zimbabweans did not understand what democracy was all about because they did not have democracy in their political parties.

“The greatest problem we have is that some of us do not understand democracy. Democracy does not start at national level but it starts in each and every political party. If the political party does not know what democracy is, it is hard for them to understand democracy at national level.

“We must have elections in our political parties. A political party must have elections so that they understand what democracy is.”

Full contribution:

HON. DUTIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to debate on the motion raised by Hon. Togarepi – the issue concerning patriotism and those who do not care about Zimbabwe and look down upon their country whereas they have the opportunity to solve their problems in their country and unite. It is not good moving to other countries and put sanctions so that we suffer as a country.  The problem is every time we have elections; we do not do that in unity. The greatest problem we have is that some of us do not understand democracy. Democracy does not start at national level but it starts in each and every political party. If the political party does not know what democracy is, it is hard for them to understand democracy at national level.

We must have elections in our political parties. A political party must have elections so that they understand what democracy is. Therefore, we are saying political parties must exercise democracy. Currently, Zimbabwe belongs to SADC which has principles and guidelines for holding elections. Therefore, those political parties who contest without democracy must not contest elections because they do not understand democracy at national level.  As a result, they end up resorting to violence.  SADC is the one which supervises elections in Zimbabwe and last year we had elections and SADC was leading because we are a signatory to SADC but you find that some people opt to go abroad to report their cases instead of reporting to SADC which is closer to home.

Madam Speaker. I am saying that if a political party does not have internal democratic process, it must not contest national elections. I thank you.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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