HARARE – More than three million people voted in the just-ended ZANU PF primary elections, in an unprecedented show of strength and popularity by the ruling party ahead of this year’s harmonised elections.
There are about six million registered voters in Zimbabwe, with the ruling party targeting to garner up to five million votes in the forthcoming elections. ZANU PF director of information and publicity Tafadzwa Mugwadi told The State Media that: “From the preliminary indications we can safely say that three million people voted in the primary elections.
“We are going to release the final figures soon. However, our preliminary observations show that the number of voters who participated was above three million.”
The ruling party is presently on a massive nationwide voter mobilisation drive geared to deliver a landslide victory during the general elections. The party’s Politburo last week announced the final list of ruling party candidates for the National Assembly, Senate, local authority elections, that includes a healthy mix of tried and tested cadres, as well as youthful aspirants. There was a huge turnout of voters in the party’s internal elections, which analysts attributed to the party’s strong organisational capacity and structures. Political analyst and Global Economics2020 Consultancy Group executive director Mr Naboth Paurosi Dzivaguru said the injection of new blood into the party structures had elicited renewed interest from voters.
“These aspirants introduced very exciting projects on the ground which are geared to deliver development, empowerment, income and create employment. This resonated well with young people,” Mr Dzivaguru said.
“The party introduced new entrants who are resourceful. This means that there is no party which has monopoly over youth votes. Any party can win the hearts and minds of the youths as long as its policies are people-driven.”
Mr Dzivaguru said the young turks are aware of the masses’ expectations.
“It appears that bribing voters did not work this time. Party members sought genuine leaders who are capable of pushing both organisational and Government interests.
One of the victors, Francis Garikai Mukwangwariwa, who won the Zvimba East primary election, said developmental projects spearheaded by President Mnangagwa have been well-received.
“Through the President’s vision, I also drilled 13 boreholes in Zvimba East, empowered the youths and also rehabilitated roads.
“We are doing this for our visionary President, the party Zanu PF and Zimbabwe as a whole, without considering political affiliation. Definitely, all candidates, even those who lost, carried the President’s vision.”