BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE ruling Zanu PF party is targeting vendors, small-scale miners and farmers to raise US$140 million for its war kitty for the 2023 general elections, a party official said yesterday.
Acting party national commissar Patrick Chinamasa, during the unveiling of the resource mobilisation committee for Zanu PF made up of dodgy businessman led by Philip Chiyangwa, said vendors were obliged to fund the party.
Some of the committee members are Elder Everisto Mudhikwa, Codes Scott Sakupwanya, Zodwa Mkandla, Tafadzwa Musarara and Antony Pote.
The fundraising committee will work under Chinamasa, who is also the party’s secretary for finance.
“To the informal sector, it is your duty to co-operate with the fundraising committee and contribute to the needs of the party,” Chinamasa said.
“This is to ensure that under the continuing leadership of Cde ED Mnangagwa’s efforts to stabilise the local currency, lower inflation, contain budget deficit, skilfully manage money supply and continue management of the foreign exchange through auction system can be sustained.”
Last month, Zanu PF ordered the demolition of illegal structures for informal traders, throwing thousands from Harare and Chitungwiza into poverty.
The ruling party also ordered similar demolitions during the country’s first COVID-19 lockdown in April last year.
But Chinamasa said the ruling party was looking to all sectors to raise money for all its activities.
The beneficiaries of the land redistribution programme, Chinamasa said, were supposed to back Zanu PF in its fight against sanctions imposed on the country by Western powers.
“To the beneficiaries of the land redistribution programme, it is your duty to help contribute financially to the needs of the party and in so doing, help fight against the deleterious effects of sanctions,” he said.
Zanu PF, under the late former President Robert Mugabe, championed the chaotic land reform programme in 2000 that reduced the country to a basket case.
The land reform resulted in job losses and the emergence of a highly politicised informal sector.
Zanu PF has been accused of abusing informal traders by force-marching them to rallies and other party activities. Those who have failed to tow the party line found themselves out of their vending sites. Opposition parties have also accused Zanu PF of abusing the land reform programme beneficiaries where farmers are forced to fund the operations of the ruling party.
Chinamasa said the money would be used to ensure Zanu PF’s re-election.
“The material and financial resources raised by the finance committee are intended to be applied towards the following purposes, funding the revolutionary party’s wage bill… funding the 2023 elections,” Chinamasa said, before appealing to those in the diaspora to help Zanu PF stay in power to help fight the ideas of their host nations.
Chiyangwa said he expected each province to contribute US$14 million towards the war chest so that he meets his own target.
“I am sticking to the US$140 million, each province is expected to raise US$14 million, this is going to be achieved whichever way,” Chiyangwa said.
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