Wallace Musakanyi, Feature
In the Zimbabwean context, 2023 is sui generis — one of its kind.
It is in fact a political year that is action-packed, filled with massive political activities during both the pre and post-electoral epochs.
More interestingly, in the second quarter of the year we are gravitating to coincide with the intensification of a heated, spirited, political and electoral season, for political players and relevant stakeholders.
As a constitutional democracy, Zimbabwe will hold the general elections firmly guided by the Electoral Act as well as Sections 155 to 158 of the Constitution.
As the electoral season is upon us, mushrooming, “structureless” and midget political formations and organisations are ready to sell their quixotic agendas, ideologies and programs to the electorate.
Zimbabweans must brace up for an intense, tiring season and this time around only the competent aspiring leaders will be spared.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) readies for the elections
Ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections, ZEC, an independent electoral commission has been working round the clock in preparation of the polls with the major programmes being the conclusion of the delimitation exercise and well as the conduction of voter registration.
To date, the electoral management body has registered more than 5,8 million people with the number expected to rise particularly because ZEC is conducting a voter registration blitz at 5 000 centres under an exercise expected to end on 21 March.
This voter registration drive by ZEC is critical for any functioning democracy, more so, it adds significant value to the right to vote, which is pronounced in Section 67 of the Constitution while also widening the franchise and improving the voter turnout, which are some of the potent tools in the democratic toolbox.
Zanu-PF engages a higher gear
In preparation for the much-anticipated polls, the ruling party has already engaged a higher gear, specifically taking into cognisance a wide-array of measures and interventions it has implemented thus far.
The party recently concluded its cell restructuring and verification exercise, an activity that was robust and intense across all the 210 constituencies. The programme accorded with voter registration and mobilisation initiatives in pursuit of the ruling party’s targeted 5 million votes.
The importance of such activities must not be underestimated, considering the fact that cells serve as a lifeblood of any political institution, they are in fact the umbilical cord that connects and feeds the masses with the party’s agenda, programmes and policies.
They are also the starting point of building vibrant, formidable and unshakable political infrastructure which guarantees the durability and relevance of political organisations. Intact cells are also part and parcel of the formula for winning elections the world over because there is a positive correlation between strong, long-lasting structures and electoral victory.
The party is set to conduct its primary elections this weekend on March 18, a development that is key in lubricating its political machinery as well as strengthening intra-party democracy.
Government projects, massive capital for Zanu-PF
The Government of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Mnangagwa has been proactive towards the development of the republic as noted by the scores of economic as well as infrastructural development projects initiated since 2018.
These projects speak volumes to the commitment of the party towards the development trajectory, which distinguishes it from other political players who are known for producing voluminous, jargon-riddled political manifestos coupled with wild and unattainable programs and projects.
For instance, the modernisation and refurbishment of the Beitbridge Border Post as well as the rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge Road are testament that the Second Republic is committed to developing the country.
Millions of registered voters who are based in South Africa will be detoxified of the propaganda they are fed by foreign media houses and social media anti-government peddlers once they reach the border post, not to mention their smooth travel on the neatly tarred highway.
The Government has initiated developmental projects across the country’s 10 provinces. These will be the political tangibilities that the ruling party candidates might use to either gain political mileage or to convince the electorate to vote for the development-woven Zanu-PF.
Wallace Musakanyi can be contacted on [email protected]