Nyore Madzianike and Conrad Mupesa
The ruling ZANU PF yesterday launched its campaign for the National Assembly and council by-elections scheduled for March 26.
All candidates representing the party in Harare Province were introduced to party supporters and Politburo member Cde Oliver Chidawu, who urged all party members to bury the hatchet and work together to ensure a strong performance by Zanu PF.
He said this at Macheka Square in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza, where all candidates were being introduced.
Cde Chidawu, who is also the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan, congratulated those who won in the primary elections and urged them to work hard during the campaign.
“Congratulations to you all the MPs and councillors for being elected (during primary elections), but you have a task of winning the elections.
“The President (Cde Mnangagwa) during a Politburo meeting told us that he wants all the seats. He said we want to win back Harare and bring it back to the party,” he said.
“For us to win Harare back to the party, we have to be united. Let us bury the past and unite.
“Go and solicit for votes around the province.”
Cde Chidawu also told supporters that they needed to put in place correct party cell structures to win.
He said when faced with an election, the opponent becomes the MDC and “other small emerging parties”.
“We beg you all to go and vote for the party’s candidate on March 26. It does not matter who you were contesting against in the primary elections.
“You can have personal differences, but you do not have a difference with the party,” he said.
Cde Chidawu urged the ruling party’s supporters to be disciplined and peaceful during the campaign period.
“Everyone should participate as we go around the 12 constituencies. Hakuna anofanira kupotsera bhora mudondo (no one should vote or campaign for opposition candidates),” he said.
Cde Chidawu said Zanu PF has a chance to prove that it can reclaim seats during the forthcoming elections.
He said Harare is the largest province in Zimbabwe and the population vote is four times bigger than rural provinces, hence the need to unite and vote for the ruling Zanu PF.
“There must be order. We must do things orderly. Harare is the seat of Government and we must demonstrate organisation and that we can afford to lead.
“Go and project order out there so that people will vote Zanu PF,” he said.
Cde Chidawu then took advantage of the gathering to introduce former Zengeza legislator Cde Simon Chidhakwa, who has rejoined Zanu PF.
Zanu PF provincial chairperson Cde Godwills Masimirembwa expressed optimism that the ruling party will win all the seats during the forthcoming elections.
He said people have witnessed the positives brought into the economy by the Second Republic through various developments being implemented.
“There are developments being made by the Second Republic and we have witnessed bumper harvests last season because of Pfumvudza and we also expect the same this season.
“People received fertilisers on time, roads are being rehabilitated around the country with a programme already in place for the rehabilitation of Seke Road.
“Government has since intervened in programmes that MDC failed to implement especially in garbage and refuse collections,” said Cde Masimirembwa.
He urged party members not be afraid of wearing yellow colours, as they are on the Zanu PF flag.
ZANU PF has 12 candidates vying for National Assembly seats and 31 aspiring to land council seats.
In Mashonaland West, Zanu PF is optimistic of romping to victory in the by-elections.
The party has fielded candidates in all the 17 wards to be contested.
Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman, Cde Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, said the party was gearing for the elections.
“We are now working towards winning all the seats that were in the hands of the opposition while we also retain the ones that belonged to the revolutionary party. The opposition has failed to bring any sanity to the urban areas hence, the urbanites should entrust Zanu PF to restore dignity and order in the towns,” she said.
The province, she said, was working tirelessly to ensure that it secured over 500 000 votes to the party’s Presidential candidate, Cde Mnangagwa in the 2023 harmonised elections.