HARARE – Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF, plans to improve its chances at the country’s national elections later this year by disposing of former president Robert Mugabe’s “look east” policy toward China and Russia in favour of policies favoured by opposition parties.
Citing three senior party officials, Bloomberg News said the country also wanted to breathe new life into Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, and reverse its black economic empowerment policy of indigenisation in which ownership of foreign companies is transferred to locals, all except diamond and platinum firms.
“Since Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe as president after a military intervention in November, the authorities in Harare, the capital, have shown a willingness to re-engage with western nations and institutions in an effort to kick-start an economy that has halved in size since 2000,” said Bloomberg News.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are due by August 31, said Bloomberg News.
It added, however, they may take place as early as May.
In addition, the death of Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, on February 14, and the battle to replace him have strengthened the ruling party’s chances to dominate the vote.