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Zanu PF courting women, youths for 2013 polls
09/12/2012 00:00:00
by Ntungamili Nkomo
 
Courting women ... Zanu PF is targeting demographic groups for vote
 
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ZANU PF says it will fashion its campaign for the 2013 general elections along demographic lines, hoping to curry favor with such population clusters as the youths, women and people with special interests.

Wrapping its annual conference in Gweru Saturday, the party resolved to pull out all the stops to deliver a “decisive victory” demanded by President Robert Mugabe, who will seek reelection against his bitter rival, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“The party resolved to intensify its mobilisation strategies to attract and maintain the support of women, youths, people with difficulties and all other progressive Zimbabwean citizens,” state radio reported.

The youths are said to constitute around 60 percent of the country’s 5, 4 million registered voters.

Zanu PF also urged its structures to go on the stump with a winning attitude, telling them to adopt a “Bhora Mugedhi/Ibhola Egedini”, or decisive victory posture.

Mugabe told more than 5,000 supporters at the conference that his party will fight like a "wounded animal to reclaim the government we lost" in 2008 elections.

"We were very divided and suicidally indifferent in 2008,” the long-ruling 88-year-old leader said. “We are now like a wounded animal, and you know how it fights."

Mugabe lost the initial vote to Tsvangirai but managed to cling onto power thanks to violence that preceded the run-off election, forcing the MDC-T leader, now Prime Minister, to pull out of the contest.

Analysts say Zanu PF’s overtures towards women and youths should not be taken lightly by its rivals – at least if figures of new voter recruitments released by party officials are anything to go by.

The Zanu PF Youth and Women Leagues said recently that they had registered 700 000 new members through a massive recruitment offensive for the 2013 polls over the past 11 months.

The two branches said they have an ambitious target of registering 2 million new voters.

President Mugabe wants the elections held in March, but his ruling partners say the target is unrealistic given that the unity government is yet to agree on a new constitution and other democratic reforms demanded by regional leaders as a prerequisite for any vote.



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