Zanu-PF councillors countrywide are working to ensure that more people register under the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise and that they eventually vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling party.
Association of Rural District Councils president Dr Killer Zivhu, who is also the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA) leader, said in an interview yesterday that mobilising the grassroots was a sure way to ensure Zanu-PF victory in elections this year.
ARDC is made up of the 60 rural district councils, while ZILGA is a grouping of rural and urban councils numbering 92. Dr Zivhu said councillors were mobilising people to ensure most of the registered voters were Zanu-PF supporters and that they would eventually vote for the ruling party.
“As the councillors, the only way we can retain our positions is to campaign for President Mnangagwa and the ruling party because the people who will vote for us also belong to the ruling party. So, we want to mobilise at least 2 500 people per ward to ensure that they vote for the Zanu-PF councillor, the Member of Parliament, the Senator and President Mnangagwa,” he said.
“Our advantage as councillors is that we are on the ground as the first tier in this hierarchy. We are simply the foot soldiers who are always with the people, so it is much easier to mobilise as we stay there, deep in the rural areas.”
Dr Zivhu said Zanu-PF councillors in urban areas and the party’s shadow councillors will also be mobilising for the ruling party votes. He said Zanu-PF councillors will soon hold a conference to sharpen their campaign strategy.
Councillors, Dr Zivhu said, were happy with progress being made in the country following the coming in of President Mnangagwa. He said it was important that the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme and Command Agriculture were lessening the burden on both rural and commercial farmers to ensure production.
“We are also happy as councillors that the Zimbabwe National Road Administration has been availing funds for roads rehabilitation in both rural and urban areas. A lot of development is already taking place, especially in the rural areas. Bridges are being repaired and new other projects are coming up and this will continue under this new dispensation,” said Dr Zivhu.
Dr Zivhu said councils applauded President Mnangagwa for ensuring that they retained the collection of land levies, to enhance their revenue base. He said the councils would now be able to initiate own projects because of the new revenue base, unlike in the past when Government was collecting the levies.
“The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo should also be thanked for ensuring that President Mnangagwa’s vision for local authorities comes to pass,” said Dr Zivhu.
On behalf of the councils, Dr Zivhu thanked the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for carrying out Operation Restore Legacy in a peaceful manner that ensured no disruption of people’s lives.
“As councils, we pledge to work with the security forces, Zanu-PF and all those who are development oriented to ensure that our country registers the progress that it deserves. This new dispensation calls for everyone to cooperate to ensure that development programmes being initiated come to fruition. We are ready to play our part in ensuring the uplifting of both rural and urban areas,” he said.
Dr Zivhu urged political parties to ensure they give priority to women and youths to represent them in local government elections. He said the parties should have a quota system for the two groups since they formulated the majority in most areas.
Dr Zivhu, who is also president of the Cross Border Traders Association, said cross border traders should not be left out in contributing to the success of the new dispensation.
“We are negotiating with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to ensure that there is easy facilitation of movement of the cross border traders so that they release their full potential in contributing to uplifting their families and the country,” he said.