George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
The Zanu-PF provincial leadership here is set to roll out its campaign for the 2018 harmonised elections this week as the revolutionary party steps up efforts to ensure it maintains its stronghold in the province. The party has lined up a series of inter-district meetings starting in Bikita this week, that will culminate in the holding of rallies ahead of elections later this year.
The party has since assigned senior leaders in the province to spearhead the campaign trail in all the seven districts of Masvingo. Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Ezra Chadzamira at the weekend said the party was targeting to retain all the 26 National Assembly seats.
Speaking during a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting held in Masvingo at the weekend, Cde Chadzamira said the party’s National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Rtd) will lead campaigns in Chiredzi District.
“Cde Pupurai Togarepi – the zanu-pf national secretary for youth affairs – will be leading the campaigns in Chivi-Mwenezi, while zanu-pf national secretary for production Cde Josaya Hungwe will be in charge of Zaka District,” he said.
Cde Chadzamira said zanu-pf national secretary for security Cde Lovemore Matuke will lead campaigns in Masvingo, while the ruling party legal affairs national secretary Cde Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana will be in charge of Gutu District.
Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Clemence Makwarimba will lead campaigns in Bikita. Addressing the same meeting, zanu-pf provincial secretary for the commissariat Cde Jevas Masosota said inter-district meetings will be held across the province, starting this week.
“We will be rolling out our inter-district meetings, marking the official start of the 2018 campaigns beginning in Bikita District on January 3 (yesterday) before proceeding to Chiredzi the following day (today). On January 5, we will move to Zaka before going to Mwenezi on January 6. On the following day, we will hold our inter-district meeting in Chivi,” he said.
Cde Masosota said there will be no meetings for some days before the inter-district meetings resume on January 12 in Gutu before concluding in Masvingo District on January 13. The Zanu-pf inter-district meetings across the province will culminate in the visit to the province by the zanu-pf national leadership, with newly-appointed national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri visiting the province on January 19.
In his address, Cde Hungwe challenged the leadership in Masvingo to intensify campaigns to ensure the ruling party romps to a landslide victory. The Provincial Affairs Minister said a crushing zanu-pf victory in Masvingo Province will propel the ruling party to an overwhelming electoral win in both the National Assembly and Presidential polls.
“Masvingo should do well in the coming elections if zanu-pf and its presidential candidate, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, are to win resoundingly in the coming election. Let’s go out in large numbers and campaign for our Presidential candidate and party so that we maintain dominance on the Masvingo political landscape. Masvingo should always be a ‘one-party state’,” he said.
Lt-Gen Rugeje (Rtd) said there was need to have a properly elected zanu-pf leadership in Chivi and Bikita districts, saying the party leadership would not condone leaders who imposed themselves on the people.