HARARE – Zanu PF will mainly focus on attracting the youth vote ahead of the 2023 polls, informed by the significant inroads its major rival made at the just-ended polls in luring the youths.
The party’s secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, told the Daily News last week that despite MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa losing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential race, Zanu PF was worried that their rivals did well in terms of swinging the youth vote to their side.
“As a party, we are concerned that the MDC managed to increase its support base by about 900 000 new voters while ours was about 300 000; so we need to work towards correcting that especially in the area of youths where it looks like they did well,” Mpofu said.
The former Mines minister who is now employed full time at the Zanu PF headquarters said he and a team of other senior officials left out of Mnangagwa’s Cabinet to concentrate on party business have come up with a work plan to cover lost ground.
“We want to ensure that the party continues to grow as we also grow the economy. The party needs to look at ways of attracting youths especially those who will be first time voters in 2023,” Mpofu said.
Mnangagwa polled 50,6 percent of the vote against Chamisa’s 44,3 percent although the opposition has refused to concede defeat alleging that the election was rigged in favour of Zanu PF and its candidate.
In his post-mortem of the election, Chamisa noted that the MDC Alliance managed to field candidates in both Parliament and municipalities more than ever before.
“We ran an exciting and unparalleled killer-campaign. We made history. We managed to hold a record of 87 presidential rallies across the country and more than 500 consultative meetings with community and opinion leaders from various sectors and areas,” Chamisa said as he thanked his supporters after the July 30 polls.
The MDC Alliance managed to increase the number of its members of Parliament from 41 in 2013 to 88, inclusive of 24 women proportional representatives.
The number of MDC Alliance Senators was up from 21 to 24.
“From this election, we control over 26 urban councils out of 32 (81 percent) and we must be proud of that. We won 536 council seats. We control all the metropolitan cities and towns including Harare and Bulawayo.
“If we compare with our previous election, again we have made significant inroads into rural areas and farming communities.
“Our presidential election campaign was massive and won the popular vote. We won this election and won it resoundingly with 2,6 million people voting for us.
“Even, on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s announced totals, this is the best tally our party has ever produced.
“It is also a significant increase with about a million votes from our previous best tally even by Zec’s own figures,” Chamisa said.