Zanu-PF readies for harmonised elections… President Mnangangwa meets poll candidates
Freedom Mupanedemo and Peter Matika, Chronicle Reporters
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will be in Gweru today to lead proceedings at the official opening session of an induction workshop for Zanu-PF aspiring candidates, as the ruling party gears for the harmonised elections slated for August.
Scores of party cadres, including the 210 aspiring Parliamentary candidates had by yesterday evening arrived in Gweru ahead of the five-day orientation and induction workshop, which starts today.
The induction workshop will be attended by senior party officials, all the aspiring members of Parliament, and the women’s quota, which is also expected to be officially opened by President Mnangagwa.
Speaking after the tour of the workshop venue — the 5 000-seater Zanu-PF Conference Centre along the Gweru-Mvuma Highway last night, national political commissar, Dr Mike Bimha, said everything was set for the high-level gathering.
“I have just toured the venue, our party’s Conference Centre along Mvuma Road, and everything is now in place for the official opening of our workshop,” he said.
“The accreditation is still on and we hope that come tomorrow, it will be complete to allow the workshop to kickstart. The President, His Excellency the President, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa, will officially open the workshop.”
Dr Bimha said the workshop will mainly focus on spelling out the roadmap leading to the harmonised elections at the same time being an induction process for the new aspiring members of Parliament.
“You will realise that we have quite a number of new MPs who are coming for the first time. So, it’s an orientation workshop, basically to prepare our candidates, an induction of what is expected of them ahead of the campaigns,” he said.
Dr Bimha said the revolutionary party was a peace-loving organisation hence the workshop will also emphasise on the need to get into campaigns peacefully as the party prepares its road to a resounding election victory.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial chairman who is also the Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Senator Larry Mavima, said as the host province they were ready for the event and happy to be the centre for guiding the party towards harmonised elections.
“We’re raring to go and very happy as a province to host this important workshop as we get into the election mode,” he said.
“Zanu-PF is a party of excellence and we are proud as the Midlands to host this important event that will catapult us into the election campaign mode.”
Most of the hotels and lodges in Gweru were already fully booked with some delegates and legislators intending to attend the workshop only securing accommodation in Kwekwe and Zvishavane.
“All the accommodation in Gweru is full and some of our colleagues had to go as far as Zvishavane to get their bookings,” Harare East Constituency aspiring Member of Parliament, Cde Mavis Gumbo said.
Meanwhile, scores of delegates from Matabeleland provinces who were also on their way to Gweru expressed excitement about the meeting given its significance to the campaign period.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister and Devolution Minister, Cde Judith Ncube, said all candidates from the country’s provinces will attend the week-long meeting to strategise on the party’s campaign plan.
“This is part of our mobilisation strategy. I can’t divulge what the strategy is about but after this meeting, we will have a tactical move in our national campaign towards the harmonised elections, slated for 23 August this year,” said Cde Ncube.
Among the new Zanu-PF candidates for Bulawayo is prominent artiste, Cde Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi, an energetic youthful leader who is expected to be part of the team to lead the restoration of Bulawayo development.
“What is inspiring most about our youthful candidates is that they conscientize youths about their past and future, as well as to drive Vision 2030 that will see the country attaining an upper middle-income economy status,” said Cde Ncube.
She said she was particularly impressed by the manner in which Bulawayo was generating interest in political participation and development.
“We have a lot of surprise candidates. They are full of life, energy and ideas. They are in touch with all generations and are the future of the country.
“They need to rally behind what has been laid down for them by our founding fathers, particularly the ruling party. Look at what we have managed to achieve as a party and developed for the youth. Without this we are lost,” said Cde Ncube.
“We are tired of drugs and abuse. We as a party will rain down upon all perpetrators. The scourge has to be destroyed,” she said.
Minister of State Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Matabeleland North, Richard Moyo said the meeting was expected to provide a basic campaign structure for the election.
“We will talk after the workshop. We are strategizing our campaign, you shall know as time goes on,” said Cde Moyo.