Sunday, 17 September 2017


A high-level Zanu-PF Elections Directorate, composed of senior Politburo members, is seized with the party’s 2018 election roadmap which is targeting a robust winning strategy that encompasses voter registration, mobilisation, research and drafting a manifesto.

The directorate, led by the party’s National Secretary for Administration, Dr Ignatius Chombo, last week began spearheading nationwide meetings which are adopting tactics on conducting educational campaigns on voter registration.

Yesterday, the directorate visited Bindura to educate party members on the new Biometric Voter Registration system that requires all Zimbabwean voters to register anew.

The exercise is expected to be conducetd in Mashonaland West with the team concluding with Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces during the course of the week. Last week, the team met party officials in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Harare, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Masvingo.

The ruling party is targeting over five million votes during the next elections. Part of the strategy entails ensuring all current members in various structures register to vote, while a massive drive to lure first-time youth voters is also being rolled out.

The strategy targets, among others, students at higher and tertiary institutions, who constitute a large chunk of new voters.
Dr Chombo told The Sunday Mail that Zanu-PF would soon deploy the full might of its election campaign machinery and offer a robust message that will win the hearts of millions.

A Politburo committee made up of technocrats has already been established to draft an election campaign manifesto whose message will centre on economic revival, peace and stability, employment creation and development, among other things.

The manifesto will also focus on engineering economic success through homegrown solutions such as the successful Command Agriculture programme. The Sunday Mail understands that the committee met last Wednesday for a brainstorming session. Sources say the meeting was a resounding success.

Mobilisation of the party’s supporters is expected to intensify in all provinces in the wake of the success of the Presidential Youth Interface Rallies that saw the party flexing its muscles as a mean mobilising machine.

In an interview last Thursday, Dr Chombo said: “From now until next year’s elections, our party is not going to rest as we will work round the clock to put in place strategies that will make us win the elections.

“In that regard, our focus at the moment is the voter registration exercise.
“The Elections Directorate was appointed by the Politburo last week (a fortnight ago) and it is going to carry out a number of programmes until the elections next year.

“What the team is seized with right now is to get our members to register to vote.
“The eam comprises myself as the chair, the national commissar, the Women’s League, Youth League and war veterans’ leadership, the party spokesperson will be with us.

“We are in top gear, we are ready to move and we are moving.
“We are going to go cell by cell to make sure that all our cell members are registered. A cell is an important unit of the party, so we want to make sure that everyone in every cell is registered and we move on.

“We are asking all our people now, all our districts, to make sure that they have the relevant documents and to go and register to vote.

“From cell, branch, district, provinces and national level; this is now a major campaign that we are going through, that is why we have visited several provinces already.
Dr Chombo said the education exercise is significant as it would lay the foundation to deliver the poll victory.

“This is why we are going to win. We are going to make sure that all Zanu-PF members are registered to vote, that’s our programme and plan.”

Zanu-PF national spokesperson Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo told The Sunday Mail yesterday that the party would this week complete the exercise to acquaint its members with the new voter registration programme.

“This is a key programme towards winning the election. We have visited seven provinces so far and we are just left with Mashonaland West where we are going tomorrow (today) and the Midlands and Matabeleland North, where we are going next week (this week),” he said.

“The main idea behind this programme is that we want our members to understand that voter registration is starting afresh and everybody needs to register again, regardless of the fact that you have been registered before.

“We are meeting Provincial Coordinating Commitee members so that these leaders can send the message down to the cell.”

Zanu-PF Youth League Secretary Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga said the youth are the mainly targeted new voters in next year’s poll.

He said as part of the Youth League’s strategy to woo voters, the organ would conduct visits in all provinces to follow up on the success of the Presidential Youth Interface Rallies.

“We are doing a lot to attract the youths to Zanu-PF. The most important thing at the moment is to encourage young people to register to vote and after the end of our interface rallies, we are going to do follow-up visits and interact further with the youths and encourage them to vote,” he said.
Cde Chipanga said the Youth League is also targeting to lure tertiary students who constitute a good number of new voters.

“There are many tertiary students who are going to be voting for the first time and we want to convince them that Zanu-PF is the only way to go,” he said.

“The interface we have planned for President Mugabe to meet with students from all higher and tertiary institutions in the country will also help the President to hear and address their concerns.”
A record number of voters is expected to turn out for next year’s poll.

Figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency and the United Nations indicate the country’s population has leapt from 13 061 239 in 2012 to between 14 and 16 million.

About 5 874 115 people registered to vote in the 2013 plebiscite.
Of these, 3 480 047 cast ballots in the Presidential poll, while 3 377 276 participated in parliamentary elections.

The number of registered voters in 2008 was 5 934 768. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has already started the registration exercise with President Mugabe having officially launched it on Thursday. Sunday Mail


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