Source: Zanu PF commandeers supporters to register en masse -Newsday Zimbabwe
THE ruling Zanu PF party has reportedly been mobilising its supporters to get registered to vote in Harare and Bulawayo, with hundreds turning up daily at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) registration centres.
When NewsDay visited Zec’s district registration centre in Harare’s central business district, hundreds of ruling party supporters had turned up for voter registration.
Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha confirmed that the ruling party instructed its provincial structures to mobilise people to register en masse for elections.
“As a party, we have instructed our provincial structures to go full throttle in encouraging our supporters to register to vote. We are happy that some provinces have taken heed of the call and our supporters are already registering to vote. The party is already in campaign mode and we have devised strategies to make sure we have a resounding victory,” Bimha said.
“Some of our members who appear on cell registers have no requisite documents to register to vote, so we urge the provincial leadership to make sure they get the documents and register to vote for Zanu PF,” he said.
Recently, Zanu PF has also been promising title deeds to urbanites in informal settlement to garner votes.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also been commissioning boreholes in high-density suburbs as part of the party’s campaign strategies.
While Zanu PF has been registering its supporters, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change has claimed that the ruling party was harassing its supporters that want to register to vote.
Last week, CCC said some of its activists were abducted and beaten up by suspected Zanu PF supporters while travelling from Caledonia to a voter registration centre in Harare.In Bulawayo, Zanu PF says it was also mobilising its cell structures ahead of elections expected later this year, claiming that it was gaining ground against the opposition, which has been dominant in the region since 2000.
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Archibold Chiponda yesterday told NewsDay that the party was mobilising its supporters into cells.
“We always do cell restructuring, and it’s done every year. We are full throttle in preparation for the elections, and once the dates are announced and the campaigns start, we will enter a full mode of campaigning. Obviously, Zanu PF is a huge party, you can’t compare it with all these smaller parties. We are the biggest party in the country, and we will win elections in Bulawayo,” he said.
“The party is growing rapidly in Bulawayo, considering the fact that the opposition that has been running the city for over 20 years now is in shambles. The ruling party will capitalise on council’s failure to deliver services to Bulawayo residents to wrest power from it. People know how the City of Bulawayo used to be before the opposition took over, and they know where they lost it. This time the people will correct that mistake in their vote.”
Chiponda said it would be difficult for the opposition to win at a time when there was poor service delivery in the city.
“Residents have on several occasions protested against council over poor service delivery. They will register those concerns against council through their votes,” he said.
His remarks came at a time when party insiders in the province say there is discord which needs to be urgently resolved.
“We are busy mobilising people into cells. We are trying, but because of the discord in Bulawayo, Zanu PF is not doing well,” a party insider told NewsDay.
He said “wayward district leaders” were causing disharmony and creating divisions.
Zanu PF has hardly won an election in Bulawayo since 2000, except when the MDC-T recalled some legislators and boycotted subsequent by-elections in 2015.
Currently, Zanu PF only has one legislator in Bulawayo, Raj Modi, who won the Bulawayo South seat in the 2018 elections after the MDC Alliance fielded two candidates.
The party also has one councillor, Kidwell Mujuru, who won by-elections in Cowdray Park, also after MDC Alliance fielded two candidates.