BULAWAYO- President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has 579 312 supporters out of Zimbabwe’s estimated 13 million population, according to a Central Committee report tabled at the party’s conference in Bulawayo last Friday.
According to the report, the former ruling party this year and last year failed to raise its support base to the set target of 1.28 million ahead of scheduled elections next year as shown by the disinterest of Zimbabweans to buy the party’s membership cards.
The report said Zanu-PF only managed to sell half of the 1, 28 million membership cards it planned to sell in 2010 and this year as it embarked on a mobilisation drive to revamp its dwindling support base ahead of elections.
The report said, Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central had 18 730 party supporters with membership cards, while Bulawayo has 13 725, Matabeleland North 11 153, Matabeleland South 17 046, Masvingo 22 868, Manicaland 50 511, Masholaland West 46 718, Harare 131 331, Mashonaland East 101 198 and Midlands 166 032- bringing the total to 579 312 party supporters countrywide.
The party national commissar Webster Shamu who presented the report said the party’s grassroots structures countrywide were in shambles and efforts were required to avoid an embarrassing defeat in the forthcoming elections. He said recently the party had failed to meet a March 2011 deadline to organise its structures right from the village and cell levels due to lack of resources.
Matabeleland, which is an MDC-T stronghold, sold the lowest number of membership cards this year and last year. In Bulawayo, Zanu-PF sold 9 810 membership cards out of the 35 000 while Matabeleland South sold 13 367 out of the 29 800 cards and Matabeleland North 8 639 out of the 35 000 disbursed.
Zanu-PF whose main source comes from proceeds from the sale of membership cards and subscriptions, donations and from its investments realized an income of US$ 4 094 853 this year, according to the report.
It received US$ 579 312 from membership fees and subscriptions, US$ 2, 9 million from the government grant, US$304 849 from donations and US$280 624 from its investments.
In February last year, President Mugabe told an extra-ordinary session of the party’s Central Committee that re-organisation of grassroots structures was one of the biggest challenges threatening the party ahead of polls.
President Mugabe insists that polls be held next year to end the tenure of the inclusive government that he says has outlived its lifespan. Radio VOP
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