FOREVER Associates of Zimbabwe (Faz), a shadowy Central Intelligence Organisation outfit which has taken over electoral processes, has spoken out and says it is now an affiliate member of Zanu PF, but says it has no connection to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
Led by Central Intelligence Organisation co-deputy director-general retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi, Faz has hijacked electoral processes, including the jus-ended chaotic voter inspection process.
With three members in every ward countrywide, Faz has been intimidating people, particularly in rural areas, collecting voter information, rolling out door-to-door campaigns, night vigils, community events, technology-based messaging while monitoring all stages of the electoral process.
Sources say, so far, Faz has received US$10 million and 200 cars to run its affairs in preparation for elections. More resources have been promised to capacitate the secret structure. Faz’s mandate, working together with Zec, is to coordinate logistics and decisive forces to retain Mnangagwa in power.
Last week, Faz through its Twitter handle @faztrust posted a video admitting being an affiliate member of Zanu PF.
“We saw it fit to enter into politics. Upon our entry, we saw it fit to improve the existing government. We would like president Mnangagwa’s government to stay in power, because it is the only one with an in-depth attachment to the history of the nation.
“We believe that their values are important in taking the country forward. We approached Zanu PF to be an affiliate member. We applied and got approval to be an affiliate member. Our duties are clear. We are not Zec and do not work with Zec. But we are an affiliate that uses its own methods to lure people into voting for Zanu PF,” said Kudakwashe Munsaka, Faz president.
Munsanka is also vying for a parliamentary post in the upcoming general election. He is one of the three out of six trustees living in Zimbabwe, according to the organisation’s official website.
“We are seeing negative talk being spread on social media about our organisation. We are just watching and laughing over the ignorance. We always say that we started our organisation as students at Solusi University,” he said.
Ironically, Zec has also denied links to Faz, in a Press conference held this week at its offices.
“Forever Associates? What is that? We are not aware of that,” said Utloile Silaigwana, Zec’s chief elections officer, responding to journalists.
Faz’s campaign strategies have been outlined in it manual seen by The NewsHawks titled: Scope of Campaign Activities. The manual details how the intelligence service is running Mnangagwa’s campaign. The document explains what should be done.
“The mainstay of this campaign is door-todoor intimate voter contact. This allows the volunteer to move from house-to-house and workplace-to-workplace, talking to individual voters one at a time. This, in turn, enables the volunteer to know the problems voters face, gauge their level of support for party and candidate, and tailor massages and campaign activities to address their concerns. These visits must not be once-off, but must become regular to help the party to dominate and saturate the environment while denying the same to opponents,” the Faz manual says.
“Once the party has access to the voters’ roll, preferably broken down to constituencies and even to polling stations, volunteers must keep in touch with registered voters through texting and phoning. This must be done almost intrusively, as a way of maintaining intimacy. Volunteers should be in the habit of checking on the health and well-being of voters as a way of showing the party’s and candidate’s concern. This can also be used for reminding voters of important election-related events and issues, while also keeping them up to date on key developments. Faz was largely involved in the chaotic voter inspection process which saw several names missing — particularly those of opposition members and activists.
“Volunteers must be available to furnish voters with the party’s and candidate’s campaign literature in their homes and workspaces. This will be done door-to-door or at community gatherings. Literature will also be distributed at markets, bus termini or shops, thus helping to expand the campaign to voters outside the volunteer’s immediate area of responsibility.
“Volunteers will administer voter education to contacts and assist those who are undocumented or aliens to acquire national registration documents and to register to vote. These interventions, which are already taking place in all constituencies nationwide, should result in a significant surge in registered voters who attribute that achievement to President ED (Mnangagwa) and Zanu PF. Volunteers must maintain contact with people they would have assisted to register to vote or to acquire national documents so that they are not won over to the opposition’s poisonous narratives.
The manual continues: “Volunteers will initiate programmes where contacts are invited to enlist their friends into networks of voters such as WhatsApp groups, teas, social clubs and interest groups, where contacts are encouraged to spread the campaign message to their friends and bring these into the fold. This will enable the campaign to grow in a snowball effect.
“Volunteers, either individually or by coming together as a team, will engage, befriend and maintain contact with these community leaders, influencers and opinion leaders as a way of authoritatively gaining, through them, the support of their followers for the party and candidate.
“Volunteers will participate in sporting, religious, political and cultural events within the Constituency and use the opportunity to learn about the community and influence individuals to support the party and candidate. They will also do the same with small but highly publicised practical social interventions, such as helping the sick, attending funerals and mitigating property losses due to fire or weather damage.
“Faz volunteers are required to intrusively access party cell registers, from party cell chairmen, and check and verify their accuracy and integrity. To this end, Faz then discretely conducts a headcount of cell members, checking if they are registered to vote. If any party members or holders of positions of leadership are found not to have national documents or registered to vote, Faz, therefore, will handhold and assist all those to rectify the discrepancy under supervision.
“Four times monthly, on Sundays, the constituency team is required to come together and host public events at Growth Points and other population centres in the constituencies, during which people are entertained with music and movies. These shows are then interrupted at intervals to address these audiences, imparting the party’s campaign message.”