HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday launched the ruling ZANU-PF party’s campaign for the hotly contested legislative and municipal by-elections scheduled for March 26 and outlined ZANU-PF’s development roadmap.
There will be 133 by-elections due for National Assembly and local authority seats, most of which fell vacant following the recall of Members of Parliament and councilors by the opposition MDC-T party.
The ruling party, led by Mnangagwa, will square off against the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change led by Nelson Chamisa and other small parties.
Addressing thousands of his supporters at a rally in Epworth, south of the capital Harare, Mnangagwa promised the residents of the informal settlement that the government will grant title deeds for their properties, adding that a more orderly process will be arranged for the issuance of the documents.
Some residents in the impoverished settlement had been living in the area for decades with no proper documentation.
“Once you get hold of your title deed, you have security for your land. It becomes your inheritance. This will ultimately do away with land barons. So we are in this process of regularizing settlements as well as issuing title deeds,” Mnangagwa said.
A lack of proper planning had hampered development and the provision of basic amenities such as water, sewers and power in Epworth.
In its 2018 electoral campaign, the ZANU-PF promised to deliver at least 1.5 million affordable housing units in five years.
Mnangagwa applauded his government’s efforts in reviving the industry, saying up to 75 percent of products in the country’s supermarkets are locally made.
In addition, he said his government was pursuing various development programs across the countryside, mentioning a dam construction and a solar-powered borehole for clean water and food security.
Furthermore, Mnangagwa said the country is moving towards total use of a local currency, saying no country has ever developed by adopting other countries’ currencies.
A Harare resident, 35-year-old Ephraim Chizola, expects the ZANU-PF to win resoundingly in the coming elections as he believes that the ruling party is fulfilling its development goals.
“If you look in any direction you are positively going to see an activity that the government is doing. It’s either there is a school being built. It’s either there is a hospital that is being opened,” he said.
ZANU-PF is aiming to wrestle urban constituencies from the opposition which has a huge following there.