Updates by Wadzanai Mhombera and pictures by Judith Makwanya

1409: The President ends by launching the manifesto document and explaining the contents of the manifesto, saying it has a vision for the people of Zimbabwe…..of making the country a middle income economy by 2030. That brings us to the end of our updates.

1407: ED says: “Victory for the revolutionary party is certain!”

1406: He appealed to aspiring candidates to go out and canvas for support for the party for the forthcoming the elections. 

1405: The conditions of service of teachers and other civil servants will be addressed.

1400: The party remains committed to gender equality in all spheres of the economy.

1358: The govt is alive to the need to develop rural communities. It is working on  increasing access to clean water through drilling of boreholes and accelerating rural electrification.

1354: The zanu PF govt is alive to the need to provide decent housing to everyone, especially to women and the vulnerable in society. He said this will be done through strategy partnerships and in the previous haphazard manner. He blasted land barons, warning that those found on the wrong side of the law will be brought to book without fear or favour.

1351: The party remains committed to ensuring implementation of investments in energy. The govt is committed to improve the people’s livelihoods, including improving the health delivery system, revitalising education and ensuring availability of water to every household.

1350: Rehabilitation and construction of key infrastructure such as airports, roads, and rail network has become imperative.

1349: Speaks about sustainable mining operations which protect the environment for posterity.

1347: Plans in place to construct more dams to increase opportunities for food self-sufficiency. The party will champion the promotion and production of horticultural crops and their value addition through the canning of fruits, for example.

1344: The government will continue to improve the ease of doing business and remove exhorbitant levies on business. “The party must champion inclusive growth,” he says. Speaks of the need to move away from primary production to value addition of agricultural produces and natural resources. Financing of the Presidential Inputs Scheme is set to continue, he reveals.

1343: US$11 billion investment commitments have been attracted so for into the economy.

1341: The party and govt has taken bold decision aimed at creating a conducive environment for economic growth under the mantra Zimbabwe is open for business, adding that sustainable development cannot be inward and isolationist.  Says the party will ensure that govt continues the robust re-engagement efforts and creating new partnerships for the betterment of the country.

1339: The focus of Zanu PF is no longer politics alone, but politics and the economy. “We cannot talk politics without bringing bread on the table of the people,” he said.

1333: The call for unity after the primary elections must be loud. He encouraged members to adhere to the party principles which demand loyalty and observance of the rules and principles, adding that the party is bigger than its individual members, it is a mass party it is the people’s party.

“Zanu PF ihomwe, tose tinokwana muhomwe ye Zanu PF, asi iwe ukada kutora Zanu PF uchiisa muhomwe mako, inokupisa ugotsva, uchingotsva, ugotsva, kusvika waibudisa muhomwe mako…,” he said.

“I Zanu PF yisikhwama sonke siyakwana ku Zanu PF, ayikwani esikhwameni somuntu munye, izakhutshisa ikutshise uze uyiphumise,” Pres ED puts it in Ndebele as well.

1330: ED says leaders must always come from the people, adding that this is the principle. He says people must be free to choose their leadership. says the days of imposition in our internal processes ‘are dead and buried’. He said they must never be resurrected no matter the person’s status. “Cherish the power given to us by the people,” says Pres ED.

1329: He says Zanu PF has the status of being the party of national liberation…..a definer of the future of the country.

1327: The theme for the manifesto is: “Unite, fight corruption, Develop, Re-engage, Create Jobs”. He said the party must safeguard the democratic systems and these will be strengthened over time. Zanu PF is responsible for shaping the body politic of Zimbabwe

1325: “We carry the hope of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is in good hands,” he tells the candidates.

1323: Implores Zanu PF candidates to serve selflessly and put the needs of the people of Zimbabwe ahead of everything else.

1322: Today I feel honoured to stand before you as the party’s presidential candidate following my nomination at the party’s extraordinary congress in December 2017

1317:President Mnangagwa now delivering his keynote address.

1314: Scoffs at Chamisa’s ‘spaghetti roads, rural airports mantra’. He calls him a juvenile politician. Asks why want to get to Bulawayo in 4o minutes when Harare workers cannot reach Kuwadzana in 5 hours? He blasts the opposition for saying all this yet it is failing to manage local authorities including dealing with traffic congestion in Harare. VP Chiwenga says they will meet the juvenile politicians when the campaign proper begins.

1312 “In him  (Pres Mnangagwa) a past of struggle makes him fit to lead the country and catapult it into a middle income economy by 2013.”

1253: VP Chiwenga on on the podium. His task is to introduce President Mnangagwa who will deliver his keynote address. “Our guest speaker is our presidential candidate in the 2018 harmonised elections which are almost upon us….,” says VP Chiwenga.

1249: Cde Muchinguri Kashiri now introducing the Second Secretary of Zanu PF and Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga. VP Chiwenga will make his remarks and then introduce President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

1245: Poem recited by Consilia Chipangura titled: #EDHasMyVote

1241: Time to sample the campaign jingle again

1234: The floor is now given to the party’s Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo. He is presenting the 2018 elections campaign material which includes wrappers, caps, t-shirts, the manifesto document which so far is written in English, Shona Ndebele, and Kalanga. The process is on to translate it to the other remaining languages. Cde Khaya Moyo says the regalia will be distributed to all the provinces down to cell level.

1233: She says as the chairperson of the regalia committee, she has made a logistics for its distribution.

1226: National Chair Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri takes to the podium to welcome delegates. “Zanu PF is a party with a people’s interests at heart,” she says.  She says the President’s policy that Zimbabwe is open for business has shifted the country’s position globally.

1217: Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu is now presenting delegates to the manifesto launch, province by province.

1214: Chitepo Ideological School principal Cde Munyaradzi Machacha is the MC. It is now time to sample the campaign jingles that have been produced by the party.

1209: Programme has started with Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi giving an opening prayer.

1203: Inside the venue it is a sea of green yellow, white and red symbolising the colours of the national flag.

1202: Roads leading to the venue of the launch was lined up with colourful banners carrying messages on what the new dispensation is standing for and its candidate President Emmerson Mnangagwa famous from the start of his leadership in government for his slogan “The Voice of the People is the Voice of God”.

1131: Scenes at the HICC where the ruling party is launching its 2018 elections manifesto

Today Zanu PF launches its 2018 elections campaign at the HICC’s main auditorium. We shall be giving you live updates when the programme commences.