LESS than a year into its five-year mandate, the ruling Zanu PF party has already started preparations for the next polls due in 2018 by importing vehicles, clothing and other regalia to be distributed during campaigns.
The development, which comes after the party controversially secured a fresh mandate to govern the country in the July 2013 elections last year was confirmed by party sources over last weekend.
This comes as the party is yet to deliver on its poll promises which include creating 2,265 million jobs, as the economy shows renewed signs of stress characterised by company closures and job losses.
A consignment of T-shirts, head and waist gear has already been imported from China and await printing ahead of distribution to party supporters.
The sources told the Zimbabwe Independent Zanu PF is not resting on its laurels as it seeks to consolidate its stranglehold on power secured after an overwhelming poll triumph marred by allegations of rigging and systematic disenfranchisement.
Party officials said the printing would be done once there is clarity over the party’s presidential candidate.
Party regalia has always been emblazoned with portraits of the party president and respective candidates.
Although current leader President Robert Mugabe is seeking re-election at the party’s congress scheduled for December, it remains unclear whether he will represent the party in 2018 amid concerns about his age and health.
He will be 94 when the polls are due.
Some of the cars are already on the roads and some were spotted over the weekend with the branding: “Team Zanu PF 2018”.
“We did very well in 2013 because we started the preparations early while our MDC colleagues were enjoying the trappings of their new-found power in the inclusive government (2009-2013). We will use the same formula,” said a senior party official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We learnt from the 2008 experience where we narrowly lost the parliamentary elections and the first round of the presidential contest to the MDC-T.”