SENIOR STAFF WRITER
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has called upon Zanu PF structures to gear up for the fast-approaching 2023 national elections, which he said will provide the ruling party with the platform to wipe out the country’s brawling opposition.
Addressing the Zanu PF politburo in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa also said the polls should spur Zanu PF to fight to regain all the urban seats and councils which it lost to the MDC over the past two decades.
This comes as the ruling party has ruled out the postponement of the 2023 polls — which some key stakeholders, including churches, have suggested should be parked for seven years to allow the country to heal from its decades-long toxic politics.
Mnangagwa also said yesterday that the country’s improving economy, as Zimbabwe prepares for the 2023 elections, would give Zanu PF a significant edge over the opposition in those polls.
“In all that we do, let us remain focused towards a resounding victory in the 2023 elections and reclaim dominance in all of the country’s provinces, including urban areas.
“The party, in its programmes and activities, must align with the aspirations of the people and work for a resounding victory in the general elections.
“We also look forward to achieving higher impact gains in the remaining years before the next harmonised elections in 2023,” Mnangagwa said.
“I implore the party leadership to continue providing strategic leadership to the wings and structures of the party to achieve a thunderous victory in 2023, as well as to realise Vision 2030.
“I, therefore, expect all politburo heads of department to refocus all departmental plans to complement the objectives of NDS-1 (the country’s new economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy).
“The youth league, in particular, is urged to implement a comprehensive and robust mobilisation plan to attract and keep more youth in the party with the 2023 elections in mind.
“This must take into account the present realities with regards to the country’s demography and pertinent socio-economic, technological and cultural opportunities,” Mnangagwa said further.
“An increasing number of people across the socio-economic and political divide are acknowledging the apparent good policies and interventions by our party and the government.
“Many have begun to see that Zanu PF policies in the Second Republic are sustainable and in the interest of the long term good of all citizens.
“Furthermore, our people realise that the party and our government’s policies on reforms, the economy, social services, environment … unity … peace … democracy … corruption, justice and the rule of law are the pillars of growth and success as we strive towards Vision 2030,” Mnangagwa added.
He also said Zanu PF was demonstrating that it was the party of the future that was committed to achieving prosperity and a better quality of life for all.
This comes as Zimbabwe’s rising prices of goods and services have put at risk the country’s plans to further stabilise the economy — after data released by ZimStats last month showed a marginal rise in inflation.
The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at 7,84 percent in January — gaining 1,3 percentage points on the December 2020 rate.
The month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 3,7 percent — gaining 1,07 percentage points on the December 2020 rate.
All this is happening at a time that the economy was beginning to show signs of steady progress, following a raft of measures that were introduced by the government last year — including the introduction of the foreign currency auction system which tamed the once rampant black market for hard currency.
To further shore up the economy, the government also recently unveiled the NDS blueprint — which officials hope will improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
The NDS replaced the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) which came to an end on December 31 last year.
A bullish Mnangagwa also said yesterday that the economy would do well this year despite the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen the country re-imposing a stiff lockdown to curb the spread of the virulent respiratory disease.
“As leaders, we must always act in the interest of the people of our country and strive for their development and prosperity.
“Finally comrades, 2021 must be a year of increased production and productivity across all sectors.
“Brick upon brick, stone upon stone, we are surely building our great country. In unity, peace, love and harmony nothing is impossible,” Mnangagwa further told the politburo.
“I would like to commend you on the continued vigilance of the party in the fight against Covid-19. The war is not yet over. Let us keep our structures alert.
“We have an obligation, for the sake of present and future generations, to complete the course to bring about more prosperity to Zimbabwe as envisioned in our national Vision 2030 and its subsidiary policy the NDS1,” he added.