Zanu-PF won the 2018 harmonised elections after connecting with the masses, reorganising its structures and using a “Dandemutande” strategy that appealed to its grassroots support base, the ruling party’s National Political Commissar has said.
Addressing Zanu-PF’s candidates in the recent National Assembly elections last week, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Dr Englebert Rugeje said Dandemutande was the party’s trump card as its Presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, polled 50,8 percent of the votes against nearest challenger Mr Chamisa’s 44,3 percent.
Zanu-PF secured a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly (145 seats).
President-elect Mnangagwa and the Zanu-PF’s top hierarchy’s dogged work ethic also carried the day for the ruling party, said Rtd Lt-Gen Rugeje.
Via Dandemutande (“spider web”), Zanu-PF reached out to millions of people through a door-to-door strategy that opposition parties were unable to match.
Zanu-PF also interfaced directly with war veterans, business leaders, religious groups, students and minority groups.
“Since the Extraordinary Congress that was held in November 2017, the Commissariat departments came up with a series of campaign activities aimed at ensuring that Zanu-PF and its Presidential candidate would win the 2018 harmonised elections resoundingly and that … we did.
“The main focus was placed on Dandemutande strategy, reinforced by the President and Vice-Presidents rallies as well as Politburo and Central Committee rallies. The Dandemutande door-to-door strategy proved to be most effective and rendered the opposition ineffective, especially in our strongholds and we want to recommend it for future use,” he said.
Rtd Lt-Gen Rugeje hailed President Mnangagwa, Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, and the party’s top leadership for leading from the front in the campaign.
He said President Mnangagwa’s strong work ethic also contributed to the party’s success.
“Your diplomatic offensive worked wonders for the party. You moved around preaching the gospel that we had opened the democratic space that was used as a message that appealed to the electorate,” he said.
“Your mantra that ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ was a very effective message. Your tireless endeavour to engage and re-engage outside the world was fantastic for us and it made our work as the Commissariat very easy.
“You also went on the offensive in preaching the gospel of peace, this was wonderful, we emphasised on that and as a result, we witnessed a very peaceful atmosphere throughout our elections
“Your connecting with all stakeholders, the chiefs, captains of industry, churches, veterans of the liberation struggle, women, youth, war veterans, war collaborators, disabled, students, special and minority groups all came in handy and this appealed to the electorate.
“We also want to acknowledge your economic interventions especially in line with the issue of makorozoka (illegal miners) that was dealt with and we now treat them as small scale miners no longer as people conducting illegal activities.”
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