Cell day marks start of campaign for ZANU PF

Chris Mahove

The Cell Day organised by the ruling party could be a strategy to shut out opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party led by Nelson Chamisa ahead of the watershed 2023 harmonised elections.

In the past few months, the CCC embarked on a rural campaign and appeared to be making inroads in the ruling party’s strongholds as its leader, Nelson Chamisa appeared to be pulling larger than expected crowds.

The party, buoyed by its performance in the March by-elections, launched a rural mobilisation campaign dubbed Mugwazo where party leaders traversed rural Zimbabwe meeting ordinary citizens and encouraging them to register to vote.

The opposition party, which transformed from the MDC-A, has since visited areas like Gokwe, Mutoko, Uzumba and Murehwa among others and indicated it was targeting every district in the country.

On the other hand, the ruling ZANU PF has seen a marginal decrease in the number of its voters, and the Cell Day, launched this year and expected to be an annual event, is seen as a step by the revolutionary party to regroup and restrategise.

“This is about ZANU PF trying to reorganize itself against a background in which it has lost appeal owing to the prevailing harsh economic environment largely blamed on corruption and rent seeking. It is also at a time when the opposition is trying to make inroads into rural communities,” said political commentator, Earnest Mudzengi.

Mudzengi said the ZANU PF Cell Day called for the opposition to go deeper with their rural outreach, making themselves more appealing in terms of policy proposals that address everyday needs of everyday people if they were to wrestle the rural vote from ZANU PF.

But with the strategy being used by the ruling party, the opposition would have to work extra hard as ZANU PF used the Cell Day to ensure its members at cell level were registered to vote.

The ruling party is also now using its cell structures to mobilise new members and has plans to increase the number of its cells, which will most likely saturate rural areas with ZANU PF members.

The cell meetings also looked at the issue of identity cards and the party would assist its members attain registration cards and register to vote.

The National Cell Day meetings explained to party members the role of the cell structure as a key organ of the party. Other exercises included cell structure verification exercise, inspection of the cell register and confirmation of cell members who were registered in the national voters roll.

The party is said to have recorded a membership of over 3, 2 million members in its restructuring exercise in 78 000 structures across the country as of February this year.

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