Looking back at 2022: A year of decisive action for ZANU PF
As 2022 folds into the everlasting arms of the annals of history, it will surely be remembered as one year during which the ruling ZANU PF took decisive actions underlined by difficult decisions, which all combined to chart a new trajectory back to the original invincible liberation movement.
Put succinctly, 2022 resembled a year of re-organisation, regrouping, and revitalisation of the party of Zimbabwe’s revolution, in a way that asserts its dominance of the political landscape, locally and internationally.
Indeed, as the nation stares yet another election year, the opposition should run and run harder they should. In fact they should start running yesterday.
Amongst key decisions made in 2022 is the re-election of Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as the uncontested First Secretary and Presidential candidate for the party in the 2023 harmonised elections.
The choice of party Presidential candidate was a key decision informed by a solid track record of hard work, loyalty to the party and nation, and the undying commitment to the ideals of the liberation struggle. The President continies to oversee implementation of multiple high impact economic projects which still require his close supervision.
In addition, the President has so far acquitted himself extremely well as Zimbabwe’s Chief Diplomat as he has constantly and eloquently articulates the country’s foreign policy, while at the same time ably engaging foreign leaders on the engagement and re-engagement front.
President Mnangagwa’s focused abilities reflect brightly on the domestic scene where he has not deviated from his erstwhile commitment to leapfrog the Zimbabwean economy through deliberate measures towards modernisation as evidenced by the sustained rollout of key infrastructural projects such as major airports and ports of entry, power generation and road construction and rehabilitation, water harvesting and distribution infrastructure, and many others.
The President’s current tenure was characterised by his unrelentig efforts at unifying the country through such initiatives as addressing regional socio-economic imbalances through development and education as well as seeking redress and closure to post-independence disturbances in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions. Such peace building initiatives need continuity and sustenance.
All these key developments, some already accomplished while some being work in progress are ample evidence and motivation to give the President another five-year term.
During the course of 2022, ZANU PF party engaged in an extensive nationwide restructuring exercise in which all positions were open for contestations, in a key demonstration of the party’s commitment to constitutionalism while deepening intra-party democracy.
Indeed, the exercise served as the fortress and strong foundation upon which future growth of the party will be anchored. The party thrives on the grassroots and as such it’s structures are the lifeblood and a guarantee for a loyal support base. As a result, the party is energised to work around its mobilisation strategy towards the set target of five million votes in 2023.
The party’s intention and determination to win next year’s elections is amply evident in its solid organisational structure.
This is in stark contrast to some opposition parties whose structures remain tucked in a briefcase like a surprise gift, with only six months before a decisive plebiscite.
ZANU PF displayed its desire to retain its grip on the levers of power when it held successive annual conferences for all its wings and affiliates with resounding success, which resulted in fresh leadership and structures whose mandate is to grow membership for the party. The Women’s League, Youth League, Main Wing, and the newly formed War Veterans League, all held their Conferences with responding success, on its own a process that kindled a new fire that burns towards delivering votes for the party. New and older affilliate converged for a fresh mandate from the party Commissariat from which they emerged with a clear sense of purpose.
The party successfully infused experience with youthfulness through the incorporation of such vibrant youthful cadres as Tendai Chirau (Deputy Secretary for Security), Tinomuda Machakaire (Secretary for Youth Affairs as well as the enterprising Supa Mandiwanzira as Secretary for Local Government among many others. This will undoubtedly give fresh impetus to the party’s mobilisation juggernaut.
To put the icing on the cake the Party went on to appoint members to its key decision-making organs, that is the Central Committee and the Politburo. The depth and diversity of membership to these organs is what should make the opposition run harder.
The choice of members to the Central Committee and Politburo resembles a rare dint of inclusivity, incorporating some of the forgotten names and those deemed to have been involved with competing factions in the past.
This clear display of unity, tolerance and reconciliation by the President and his team will have a net effect of bringing people together, some in genuine admiration of the gesture while others will do so in solidarity with the party and its leadership.
The composition of the Party Politburo has all but won the praise of some of the fiercest critics from opposition activists to the exiled former ZANU PF members such as Walter Mzembi who applauded its diversity and inclusivity.
As such, winning elections in 2023 now remains only as a matter of margins. Empirical evidence prove that ZANU PF remains the most active political party in terms of programs on the ground as well as mobilisation of new voters. The party continies to be the dominant force on most social media platforms.
ZANU PF remains strong regionally and internationally with the party having intensified and solidified solidarity with fellow liberation movements. The party attended conferences and Congresses, both virtually and physically with the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chama Chama Pinduzi of Tanzania, African National Congress of South Africa, SWAPO of Namibia, FRELIMO of Mozambique, BDP of Botswana, PLO of Palestine, United Russia of the Federal Republic of Russia, Communist Party of Cuba, and many other solidarity forums.
This relationship has ensured that ZANU PF continues to enjoy support and influence within the SADC region, Africa as well as refreshing support for the Zimbabwean government at such international fora as the United Nations General Assembly.