At a time when various critics and opinion leaders have been blaming Zanu PF for failing to fulfil its pre-2018 election promises, the ruling party is already targeting a massive 5 million votes in its pursuit to resoundingly win the next elections expected in the year 2023.

According to the ruling party’s national political commissar Victor Matemadanda, the disputed 2018 elections, in which its presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa was controversially confirmed the winner at the courts, ‘created problems’ for Zanu PF.

On Sunday, Matemadanda urged the newly elected members of the Zanu PF Bulawayo Provincial Executive Committee to work towards luring more voters in a bid to ensure that the party convincingly out-ballots the opposition in the next elections.

“As the party, we have a 5 million target which we have set for ourselves. Remember the president has put a vision but before we get to that vision we have said 2018 elections have created problems for us,” Matemadanda said.

“The president was in the same bracket with the opposition. What we plan to do is to have a 5 million vote in the 2023 election so that the margin is big for all to see,” he said.

In 2018, Mnangagwa, narrowly beat his closest contender Nelson Chamisa by a slight margin after he polled 2 460 463 votes to garner 50.8 percent of the vote while the MDC Alliance leader got 2 147 436 to settle at 44.3%.

The aftermath of the announcement of the presidential election outcome sparked widespread outrage with seven people dying on August 1 after state deployed security forces indiscriminately opened fire on the unarmed dissenting masses in central Harare.

With the disgruntled opposition taking the legal route to challenge the outcome of the presidential election as announced by the electoral governing ZEC, Mnangagwa had to wait a bit longer, until the Supreme Court declared him the winner.

Roughly nine months earlier, the current Zimbabwe leader had dramatically ascended to the throne following a military coup that endedhis long-ruling predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe’ 37-year grip on power.

In power since Zimbabwe’s attainment of independence from British colonial conquest in 1980, Zanu PF has widely been labelled the scapegoat for the collapse of a then vibrant agrarian-based economy.

Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes further deteriorated after veterans of the country’s liberation struggle, with the support of Mugabe, seized white-owned commercial farms in a violent land grab euphemistically referred to as the Land Reform Programme in 2000.