BY MOSES MATENGA
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday ordered the ruling party to immediately start campaigning for the crunch 2023 elections and declared that Zanu PF will never be removed from power.
Mnangagwa told a Zanu PF politburo meeting that the party was targeting to grab MDC Alliance strongholds in urban areas and pleaded with party supporters from the grassroots to bankroll the 2023 campaign.
“Zanu PF rule is here to stay. We are the only revolutionary party with an indisputable rich past and the progressive and inclusive vision for a brighter, more prosperous future,” Mnangagwa said.
“Over and above these constitutional programmes, all leagues of the party must begin to prepare in earnest, for the 2023 harmonised general elections.”
Mnangagwa went on to issue a stern warning to members of his party who sought to pursue secret agendas within the party, saying they would be exposed and dealt with severely.
“As we approach the 2023 harmonised elections, our electorate must keep alert and never be deceived by individual fantasies and unbridled political ambitions disguised as political wisdom. Proxies and conduits of neo-imperialism bent on sowing division and disunity among us must be exposed and defeated all the time,” he said.
The Zanu PF leader accused the opposition of failure to deliver on service in urban areas hence the need to vote them out.
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“The opposition has dismally failed our people in urban areas. All party wings must therefore work extremely hard to ensure that we mobilise the urban vote for a resounding party victory,” Mnangagwa said.
“Our people in urban areas have been short-changed by the opposition parties for too, too long. Zanu PF will never leave our urban dwellers behind. They too deserve a better quality of life.”
Turning to sanctions, Mnangagwa said: “We remain unbroken in the face of illegal sanctions and are in fact emerging more united and stronger to deliver that which is outlined in the aims and objectives of the party.”
He said the party structures must find ways to mobilise financial resources while urging his supporters to make use of social media for mobilisation.
“I also challenge the party’s structures to find innovative ways to ensure financial and material resources are mobilised in support of the various activities of the wings of the party at every level,” Mnangagwa said.
“All wings of the party are encouraged to exploit social media as a contemporary tool for political mobilisation. This must see increased dialogue and debate aimed at popularising our party, its ideals and successes as well as the good policies and programmes of the government.
“The positive following and publicity of the party on the ICT platforms must ultimately translate into increased membership and party votes in the 2023 election polls. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the party wings to roll out broader election and voter education programmes across all provinces and districts. We must leave nothing to chance.”
Mnangagwa then paraded a group of alleged MDC Alliance politicians who reportedly defected to the ruling Zanu PF party.
But the MDC Alliance scoffed at Mnangagwa’s claims of defections of “key” opposition officials saying the people paraded at the Zanu PF headquarters were not from their party.
Mnangagwa paraded seven people to the politburo claiming they were from the Nelson Chamisa-led party. They included former Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto, former Marondera mayor Farai Nyandoro, among others.
In presenting them, Mnangagwa said: “This morning we received seven former MDC Alliance members, mostly original founders of MDC. They told us that they realised home is home. You can go all over, but you will eventually come back home. We are receiving them wholeheartedly.”
But the MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende said Mnangagwa was panicking and desperate as the officials he paraded were not part of the MDC Alliance.
“ED is panicking and desperate. keep on pressing for the #RegisterToVote2023 campaign. Most of the names of the alleged senior members, I have seen for the first time,” Hwende said.
“They have even created a new post of secretary-general for veterans, a post that is not in our constitution. Zanu PF is all about deception and fraud,” Hwende said.
Chiroto who was among the “defectors” left the MDC in 2015 to join the Zimbabwe People First party led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
He and Nyandoro then reportedly joined the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T before tendering their resignations in July this year to pursue “private business”.
Among the defectors is former MDC Zengeza West Member of Parliament Simon Chidhakwa, who was fired from the party after contesting as an independent candidate.
Chidhakwa said he has re-joined Zanu PF on his own volition and promised to work for the development of the country.
Former MDC Alliance national secretary-general for veterans association, Charles Musimuki, who was suspended from MDCA party in July, said the party’s continuous splits was a clear indication of lack of ideology in the opposition camp.
Mnangagwa said the new members must be integrated into the party and be embraced by all structures.
Those that were paraded by Mnangagwa at the Zanu PF headquarters include Chiroto, Nyandoro, Chadamoyo Solomon Machingura, Peter Chandafira, Carlos Mudzongo, Chidhakwa and Musimuki.