The ruling ZANU PF will come up with programmes to improve the lives of the urban population as it moves to break the opposition’s stronghold in future elections.
Since 2000, ZANU PF has struggled to make an impact in urban areas with analysts saying the opposition capitalises on protest votes in the wake of a tough economic environment while ZANU’s focus on social programmes in the rural areas sees it scoring big.
ZANU PF secretary for the commissariat Victor Matemadanda told Business Times that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration seeks to improve the life of people.
Last week, Matemadanda visited Mutare where he toured the the Central Business District (CBD), Mutare Provincial Hospital, Sakubva market and the main bus terminus and interacted with several people.
“I have been visiting people in various urban centres interacting with them so that we get a real appreciation of issues. We need to appreciate the situation on the ground first before we come up with proper development projects,” Matemadanda said.
The Gokwe Central legislator said MDC-run councils were failing to improve lives and service delivery systems in most towns and cities was poor.
“Critical issues in suburbs have not been attended to because there is no interaction between local authorities and ordinary people. This has resulted in the growing mistrust between the two parties. We now have to sit down with relevant authorities so that service delivery is improved,” he said.
Matemadanda said the party would ensure that ZANU PF wins all by elections even those in urban areas. “We are eyeing all seats in the by-elections especially in urban areas. We are coming up with people-centered programmes that are meant to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. That alone will improve the urban vote,”Matemadanda said.
In April, the ruling party’s Kidwell Mujuru won in Bulawayo Ward 28 by-elections with experts saying this might be the dawn of ZANU PF’s era in urban centres.