Despite the economic turmoil in Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to have shifted his focus on the next harmonised elections to be held in 2023 and has said ‘nothing must be left to chance’ to ensure that his ruling Zanu PF party wins in the polls.

The 78-year old Zimbabwe leader told the 351st Ordinary Session of the Politburo in Harare yesterday that there was need for the ruling party to implement its programmes with urgency as 2023 was fast approaching.

Mnangagwa also took a swipe at elements bent on dividing the long-ruling Zanu PF which has been in power since the southern African country’s attainment of independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

“The 2023 Harmonised General Elections are fast approaching. Let us therefore continue tightening our belts and diligently implementing our party programmes with a greater sense of urgency. Our people and party membership must be kept informed, mobilised, and motivated to be productive towards improving their plight and the achievement of the goals we set out, in the 2018 People’s Manifesto,” he said.

“Party structures must remain intact. We cannot approach the next election with an assumed membership base. It is fundamental that we know the figures of those who will potentially vote for us at a disaggregated ward, constituency, and provincial level. Nothing must be left to chance,” said the Zanu PF First Secretary.

Mnangagwa also said that the impending by-elections to be held in vacant constituencies across the country must be conducted within the confines of internal democratic practices and provisions of the Zanu PF constitution, while at the same time observing protocols prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Values that promote discipline, unity, robust and mature political competition as well as the indivisibility of our revolutionary party must be guarded jealously. Meanwhile, I applaud the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology for implementing a comprehensive and robust training programme for the DCC structures and new cadres joining the party”.

He added:

“Our political DNA as the ruling party Zanu PF, with the vision for the future, is premised on the sanctity of our party constitution, rich revolutionary history and heritage, as well as the culture of engagement and dialogue. The ideals of our party, particularly patriotism, loyalty, discipline, and honesty must remain engrained in all of us. There is no room for malicious, divisive, corrupt and retrogressive tendencies within our rank and file membership.

“Reflections on our liberation principles and ethos, instruct that we must relate with the people, as water is to fish. The people, inclusive of women and youth, are a critical force in driving our development agenda. In today’s meeting, Politburo will, thus, receive reports from the war veterans, women and youth leagues on their activities and programmes”.

Zimbabwe will this Sunday mark 41 years of independence in the wake of waning economic fortunes that have seen the country- once revered as the breadbasket of southern Africa- being reduced to a ‘basket case’.