Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party will dish out eight million T-shirts and caps from China, erect hundreds of billboards and restaff its communication department in a bid to win this year's polls, a newspaper reports.
The party will also send out campaign teams comprising party officials and war veterans to operate throughout rural voting constituencies, reports the Zimbabwe Independent.
"This is one of the best campaign strategies, which will be implemented for the first time and promises to rally support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is aiming to surpass former president Robert Mugabe’s 2013 victory which was at 62% (of the vote)," a party source told the paper.
More than 600 billboards will be erected across the country, one in each constituency, bearing the president’s face "and a clear campaign message in various languages", the source added.
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Party regalia, including eight million t-shirts, scarves and caps are due in the country soon from China. These will be dished out to supporters at Mnangagwa’s campaign rallies.
Mnangagwa has popularised a scarf in the colours of the Zimbabwe flag during recent foreign trips.
On social media, Zanu-PF has already come up with the hashtag #EDHasMyVOTE, using the president’s initials and tapping into the goodwill that still exists after he and his supporters backed by the army ousted long-time president Robert Mugabe last November.
Entice young voters
But it’s thought Mnangagwa will face a formidable challenge from MDC leader Nelson Chamisa. The 40-year-old lawyer is expected to appeal to younger voters who make up 60 percent of those registered.
The Independent said Zanu-PF had revamped its communication department and "recruited tech-savvy youths who will be creating digital content in order to entice young voters".