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ZANU-PF has started distributing vehicles to candidates who prevailed in the recent primary elections as the revolutionary party steps up preparations for the forthcomingharmonised polls which they expect to win by a landslide.
The party’s Bulawayo Province yesterday introduced the winning candidates to the Provincial Coordinating Committee members and Politburo members at the party’s offices at Davies Hall amid calls for unity of purpose to ensure victory.
Members were told to bridge whatever gaps were created during the internal polls and shift focus to the bigger picture of securing victory in the harmonised elections.
President Mnangagwa has outlined the elections road map stating that polls will be held between July 26 and August 26.
While the opposition has dominated in Bulawayo for years, Zanu-PF made inroads in 2018 harmonised elections electing Cde Raj Modi for Bulawayo South constituency and in 2019, Cde Kidwell Mujuru won the Cowdray Park Ward 28 by-election, making him the only councillor to represent the party since the early 2000s.
Politburo members Colonelt (Retired)Tshinga Dube and Cde Molly Mpofu gave a report on how the primary elections were conducted throughout the country and the meticulous process that was undertaken by the Politburo to verify the results.
Both senior party members said Bulawayo Province has to step up if Zanu-PF is to win in the province.
Col (Rtd) Dube said candidates should ensure that they do not have criminal records as they are likely to be disqualifited by the Nomination Court.
“So, if you know that you have a criminal record, it is time that you withdraw your candidature. We don’t want to have last minute withdrawals as candidates get disqualified. It will also be unfair for a new candidate to start campaigning at the last minute,” said Col (Rtd) Dube.
Bulawayo provincial secretary for administration Cde Raymond Mthomba said yesterday’s PCC meeting paved the way for candidates to start canvassing for votes in wards and constituencies.
“From here, we are going to have meetings in constituencies where the party’s leadership is going to present you to the grassroots. They will explain to party members that we are commencing the campaign. It’s time to produce the five million votes that we have always been chanting. We should start working, it’s no longer that time fornursing our wounds. We call upon you to quickly heal as there is serious work to be done,” he said.
Cde Mthomba said the ruling party should now move beyond primary elections andfocus on the bigger goal of winning national elections.
“Today’s agenda is to introduce our candidates, those who won and those who did not prevail. All of them are our party candidates. To us no one is a loser or a winner but we were just practicing internal democracy,” said Cde Mthomba.
“We are presenting you here to the leadership so that it counsels you so that you become one. Our thrust is to win the harmonised elections, our thrust is to ensure a clean sweep for Zanu-PF, our President, our MPs, our councillors and senators. What we did was an internal democratic process. It isn’t anything new.”
Cde Mpofu said the party has moved a gear up to support candidates through providing them with cars to improve mobility as they seek votes.
“Our candidates have been given cars so that they effectively penetrate the ground. With the amount of work on the ground, they cannot run around without cars to enhance their mobility. While these cars have been extended to candidates, they still remain party property. The cars belong to His Excellency who is the head of Zanu-PF,” she said.
Cde Mpofu said just as the party endorsed President Mnangagwa’s candidature, it was now time for members to rally behind those who were elected in the primary elections.
“Our task is to unite those who won and lost, they should work as a team. We were in a race and only one prevailed in such a race. The party did not lose but we were selecting a candidate. We have selected the candidates who are going to stand for us as we endorsed one candidate who is going to stand for us in the presidential election, President Mnangagwa. It is now our duty to rally behind the President and all our candidates,” said Cde Mpofu.
Among candidates who received campaign vehicles in Bulawayo Province are Cdes Tavengwa Zidya (Nketa), Cecilia Verenga (Pelandaba-Tshabalala), Tendai Charuka (Bulawayo Central), Admire Masikati (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Linda Chinamano (Entumbane-Njube) and Nkosana Mkandla (Bulawayo North).
Cde Mkandla said the party will direct how the cars are to be used.
He said smoking a peace pipe has always been the Zanu-PF way after primary elections.
“As party this is what we normally do. As always after an internal election we move together and that is the same spirit that we are working with.
“That is why candidates (who lost) were assuring to work with those that were elected to represent the party. So we are now moving in lock and stem. We are all prepared to have a resounding victory in the harmonised elections,” said Cde Mkandla.
He said Zanu-PF wants to address opposition’s failure in urban centres and address the electorate’s concerns such as provision of water.
“As a party we want to lead Bulawayo, it has been misrepresented by the opposition. Right now, there is the issue of water, so we are working towards ensuring how we can relieve the people of the strenuous water situation. We are going to be drilling boreholes so that we ensure that there is water, especially as residents sometimes go for more than a week without water in some instances,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has stressed the need for the country to hold the forthcoming harmonised elections in a peaceful environment.
Writing in his weekly column for The Sunday Mail and Sunday News, President Mnangagwa said as the country gears to celebrate the 43rd Independence Day under the theme “[email protected]: Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo” the looming polls must be held in a peaceful environment.
He said the nation should celebrate its independence without hindrance.
“We all must cherish our Independence and celebrate it without let or hindrance. That way, all those who sacrificed for it will feel recompensed. They did it for you, for me and for all of us, so we grow and live a free and sovereign people.
“So we deliver and guarantee a handsome bequest to those who come after us, primarily the gift of a free and sovereign Zimbabwe in which hopes and dreams are realised; in which peace abides pasina mugumo! Total peace, including as we prepare for our Harmonised Elections which will come soon.”
He added “Our elections must be held in peace and amity, with us all reminding each other there will always be a Zimbabwe roomy enough for us all, winners and losers, governing or governed alike.
“A country at peace, of peace, love, dreams, hopes and fulfilling development to all those ready to work and serve it with total loyalty.
A survey released in March by Pan African Forum Limited showed that President Mnangagwa will win the elections by an unassailable landslide.
The President, whose Government has transformed the country through cross-cutting infrastructure development that leaves no one and no place behind among other initiatives, is the most preferred candidate of all presidential hopefuls for another term, according to the survey.
Pan African Forum Limited, a forum that constitutes an informal network of African scholars and university student leaders both current and past, said President Mnangagwa will emerge the victor as he commands a 75 percent popularity rating.
President Mnangagwa’s closest challenger, Mr Nelson Chamisa, who leads the opposition CCC, lags far much behind with just 19 percent, while other parties share the remainder, survey results revealed.
Several other surveys including one from the New York-based global ratings firm Fitch Solutions have also predicted President Mnangagwa’s victory.
Source – The Chronicle