The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
ALL is set for the Zanu-PF National Annual Peoples’ Conference which begins in Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province tomorrow.
The 19th conference, which is the first of its kind since the history of Zanu-PF, will be a hybrid of physical and virtual sessions owing to Covid-19 restrictions and delegates from the 10 provinces will get an opportunity to follow events via various digital platforms. Furthermore, a limited number of delegates per province will gather at various venues across the country and follow proceedings online. A final meeting that will seal the reparations for the conference will be held tomorrow to mop up any outstanding issues ahead of the event.
The party’s top brass, comprising Politburo and some Central Committee members will attend physically from Bindura while Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central Province will connect virtually from Chipadze Stadium. All other provinces will gather at designated locations in their respective provinces and participate virtually. Acting party spokesperson Cde Mike Bimha said the party was satisfied with preparations.
“We are more than 95 percent ready, there is a lot of activity even this weekend such as distribution of materials and suppliers of our requirements started to deliver this past week. So, we are distributing materials to various provinces so that we have less pressure in the coming week. What is also critical this time around because of the nature of our conference, our conference will be virtual, the issue of connectivity has been very critical. We had demonstrations where all our provinces were in touch with us so we believe that everything is on course,” he said.
Added Cde Bimha; “We still have our last meeting on preparations on Monday which is chaired by the National Chairperson, to ensure we put final touches to the preparations, we believe that we will be ready after Monday. We are happy that everything is on board as we speak. We believe that our provinces are also ready for the conference.”
Cde Bimha said the conference was also unique in that provinces have mobilized their own resources compared to previous years.
“Unlike in the past, if we were having one gathering, we would know the amount of food and cows that we would have gathered. But now each province is mobilising their own resources and they are using that, it’s their food and comfort. They are working around the clock to make sure that everything is on board for their provinces. We are also ensuring that accredited delegates for provincial meetings have Covid-19 tests done and produce full vaccination certificates. In terms of all protocols, we have everything in place,” he said.
Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Cde Obert Msindo said the province was ready for the conference.
“Everything is ready, we have 101 delegates, then we have security and other service providers which brings our number to 279. We have secured food for these delegates for the three days when they are gathered, and we have surplus so that no one is left hungry. We secured eight cows that will feed the people so we have enough,” said Cde Msindo.
He also said regalia for the province was ready and will be in the city before the conference begins.
“Today (yesterday) we are receiving some Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment that will be mounted and tested ahead of the conference. We have had a good working relationship with the various service providers in the city together with the Provincial Development Committee and the Minister of State so our work is easier. The media has also been helpful during this time too,” added Cde Msindo.
Bulawayo Zanu-PF head of ICT and also chief director of events Cde Mathew Mutavayi said they have been testing their equipment to ensure delegates have a a smooth sailing virtual experience of the conference.
“Progress as we go to the People’s Conference is that we are doing our sixth connectivity trial run today where we are testing the network platforms for the live feed that we will be using for live streaming. What we are doing is the final test runs with the other centres to identify any hiccups and rectify them. We are on top of the situation so far,” he said.
Cde Mutavayi said in terms of power backup, the party was working with the utility, Zesa and the Department of Public Works to ensure there is uninterrupted supply since the city was undergoing scheduled power cuts.