Zanu-PF yesterday kicked off its membership audit and verification programme to headcount the support base from cell to district levels as the party gears up for the 2018 elections.
The initiative is part of the revolutionary party’s restructuring exercise aimed at assessing the state of the party ahead of next year’s polls.
Zanu PF’s Harare province kicked off the massive programme yesterday with other provinces expected to follow soon.
Roll-out of the programme is a clear sign that the party is way ahead of its competitors as the main opposition party, the MDC-T is quarrelling within its ranks over possible coalitions, while the Zimbabwe People First is smarting from a damaging split that saw its former leader Dr Joice Mujuru forming the National People’s Party.
Under Zanu PF’s comprehensive restructuring programme, the party constitutes cells, branches and districts which form the grassroots of the party and feed it into the provincial and national structures.
A cell comprises 50 members with five cells making a branch, while five branches make up a district.
The party has chosen Harare as starting point as it targets to increase its membership in the capital which has been a stronghold of the waning MDC-T.
In an interview yesterday, Harare province political commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe said the exercise had successfully kicked off.
Cde Mashayamombe said the party is targeting to get 500 000 members in Harare from the last count of over 200 000 in 2013.
“We have started the membership verification today (yesterday) as part of our preparations for 2018. We are hoping to visit all 250 centres and that would also help the province achieve its target of increasing membership from 200 000 to 500 000.
“Each district should have 25 cells, each cell should have 50 people.
“Today (yesterday) we want to check whether each and every district has the minimum number of people at cell level.”
Cde Mashayamombe said the clumsiness of opposition parties has made the province confident of recruiting ore members ahead of 2018.
“We are also targeting to recruit new members. The message to the electorate is that our party is better than all these fly-by-night opposition parties.
“I think people can now see for themselves that Zanu PF is the only way to go because they saw for themselves the fiasco at ZPF and they know that Tsvangirai is a perennial loser.”
Cde Mashayamombe said the meetings would help the party to hear concerns from the people.
“These meetings will also afford us an opportunity to hear concerns from the people so that as a party we continue to be guided by the will of the masses.
“As Zanu PF, we have all the solutions to the people’s problems, such as housing and empowerment.
“This is the message that we will continue to preach,” he said.
Cde Mashayamombe said after the verification exercise the party would provide electronic membership cards to its supporters.
Since winning the 2013 harmonised elections by an overwhelming majority, Zanu PF has not rested on its laurels but has continued to revitalise its structures ahead of the 2018 poll.
The party has won all but one of more than 20 National Assembly by-elections which have been held since 2013.