Zanu PF admits losing support
GWERU – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is bleeding voters massively, losing almost 250 000 members over the past year.
A central committee report tabled at the 13th national people’s conference that ended in Gweru last night, states that the party had sold a paltry 266 550 membership cards by October 31, 2012, down from 513 832 cards sold by end of October 2011.
That total is for membership cards sold in all of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces and Zanu PF’s Diaspora branches in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Harare suffered the biggest loss in membership, with 91 391 members in 2011 tumbling down to 20 626 by end of October.
Manicaland also saw the membership sliding from 47 085 in 2011 to 18 752 now.
Mashonaland Central was almost static from 18 730 to 18 858, while Mashonaland East dropped to 97 936 from 100 565 members last year.
Mashonaland West, Mugabe’s home province, suffered dramatic collapse in membership from 46 718 in 2011 to 13 526 by end of October 2012.
Masvingo also saw membership falling from 21 928 to 10 743.
Matabeleland North and South both marginally lost membership from 7 948 and 11 425 respectively to 4 480 and 10 433. Bulawayo province increased membership from 6 651 members in 2011 to 7 577 members now.
Midlands bled membership massively from 161 394 members in 2011 to 63 500 by end of October this year.
While the party failed to sell 3 000 cards sent to South Africa last year, it managed to sell 119 cards this year.
In the UK, the party failed to sell even a single card last year and this year.
“It is imperative for the provinces to double their effort in mobilising card sales in order to boost both our membership and revenue,” the central committee report says.
As at the end of October 2012, the party had raised $119 947 from membership cards and subscriptions.
The Marxist leader maintained that elections will be held early next year, notwithstanding his party’s sliding membership figures.
“If there is anything certain, it is that legally and constitutionally, the inclusive government has to end,” Mugabe said.
“Therefore, nobody should make any mistake about this because we are going to hold elections early next year without fail as the law clearly stipulates.”
Meanwhile, the party budgeted $2,6 million for the 13th annual conference on top of the $6,5 million used to build the controversial conference centre, dubbed the Hall of Shame.
This is despite the fact that Zanu PF is in the red to the tune of $3 964 495, being a bank loan that the party is struggling to service, according to the central committee report. Under the Political Parties Finance Act, the 2012 budget allocated $3,3 million to Zanu PF, but the party says it got only $1,9 million.
The party got donations of $2,5 million from undisclosed “friends and well wishers.”
The party blew $725 241 on constitutional meetings, with marathon politburo meetings that ran well into the night to discuss the Copac draft gobbling $243 715.
Out of total expenditure of $7 938 429, the major expenditure item was constitutional meetings.
In a foreword to the central committee report, Mugabe blamed the MDC for wasting 44 months haggling over the draft.
“Looking back to April 2009 when Copac was set up, after a long, inexplicable and wasted 44 months, it is clear that the electoral cowards and enemies of the values and ideal of our liberation struggle have violated public trust by abusing their participation in the GPA-mandated constitution-making process to sabotage our electoral process,” Mugabe said.
“Their prime motive is to delay the holding of elections in order to extend their ill-gotten stay in that awkward animal called the inclusive government whose policy gridlock and non-performance have been a monumental betrayal of our people’s legitimate expectations.” – Gift Phiri, Politics Writer