According to a circular that was recently sent to provincial chairpersons by the party’s political commissar Webster Shamu which showed party cards sold, Zanu PF now has 597 849 card-carrying members, up from 579 312 announced at the December conference in Bulawayo.
Shamu wrote that out of 1 270 000 cards sent to provinces, 672 171 were returned while 597 849 were snapped up. The statistics showed that Matabeleland provinces snubbed the membership cards while the largest number sold was recorded in Mashonaland provinces.
In a central committee report that was tabled at last year’s conference in Bulawayo, Zanu-PF sold 9 810 membership cards out of the 35 000 but the recent update indicated that the number has only marginally increased to 10 248, while in Matabeleland North it rose from 8 639 to 8 802. In Matabeleland South there was also a slight increase from 13 367 to 14 466.
The highest number of cards sold was recorded in Midlands where the number increased from 166 032 to 198 532, while in Mashonaland East 170 326 people are now official Zanu PF members, up from 101 198.
Shamu wrote that an inter-departmental team would be dispatched to the provinces to recover all outstanding cards while he also warned that party officials who misappropriated the money would face severe punishment.
“Again it must be emphasised that 2012 being an election year, the party must go into these elections with a leadership that has a fresh mandate from the people,” he said, in reference to election of districts and provincial executives before the general election.
It has also emerged that although President Robert Mugabe is pushing for a referendum in May to pave way for an early election, Zanu PF has failed to beat the February deadline for completion of District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections which was set for end of February.
In Bulawayo, DCC elections were put on hold due to serious infighting rocking the province. The situation is the same in Matabeleland North.
“DCC elections in all provinces shall be conclusively held during and within the month of February 2012 without fail. We appeal to all provinces to ensure the successful completion of the DCC elections in February,” wrote Shamu in a confidential circular to provincial chairpersons, party chair Simon Khaya Moyo, administration secretary Didymus Mutasa, and Legal Affairs secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Efforts to get a comment from Shamu were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.