Harare – President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party has launched a fundraising drive to raise at least $8m for its extra-ordinary congress slated for December ahead of the 2018 elections, a report says. According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Zanu-PF finance secretary, Obert Mpofu, who also chairs the fundraising committee, said that he was convinced that the party would be able to raise the needed funds. Mpofu appealed to business people and party members to support the initiative.He said that the party would raise some of the funds through provincial contributions of at least $100 000 per province and through a fundraising dinner.Watch Mpofu speaking in a video posted to YouTube by the Herald below.The congress was brought forward by two years, a development, which some analysts said was designed to help Mugabe entrench his family's hold on power.Recent reports indicated that there was a proposed push ahead of the congress to include a woman in the presidium, a move seen by many as a way by the party's G40 faction to ensure that its leader First Lady Grace Mugabe became vice president. Zanu-PF was divided into two distinct factions that sought to outwit each other in the battle to succeed Mugabe. One of the camps calling itself "Team Lacoste" was linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while another faction made up of Young Turks trading by the name Generation 40 was reportedly linked to Grace. G40 was said to be seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa's presidential ambitions. However, both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions.