Mugove Tafirenyika 13 April 2017
HARARE – The MDC has escalated its 2018 election campaign, with the Morgan
Tsvangirai-led party deploying its senior officials to the rural areas to
consolidate its support base in the countryside.
The rural areas have been the stronghold of the ruling Zanu PF, where it
has been garnering most of its support as compared to the urban
MDC deputy spokesperson Tabita Khumalo told the Daily News yesterday that
the opposition party deployed its MPs, senators and other senior officials
to provinces, in line with what Tsvangirai gathered from his recent
” . . . president (Tsvangirai) held a nationwide tour gathering views from
the people and it is that which we are implementing now,” she said.
“It is not necessarily about Zanu PF but that we are carrying out the
mandate our president was given by the people to deploy cadres around the
country to be more visible ahead of elections. The response so far has
been fantastic, the people love it.”
Beginning in February, Tsvangirai embarked on a one-and-a-half months of
“fruitful” engagements with Zimbabweans, consulting them on various
issues, including the mooted grand coalition of opposition forces against
Mugabe for the elections.
In a statement after the tour, Tsvangirai said the engagements “made me
“We sat under trees and discussed many issues about the country we all
love. We huddled in round huts, conversed in town halls and sat under
trees and tents and communed about the past, the present and the future of
our country,” Tsvangirai said.
“We spoke about past government-sponsored atrocities against the innocent
citizens of our country, the present difficulties we all face and the new
governance culture we should sculpt if we are to embrace a new future with
renewed confidence and hope.
“We discussed the next election which we all agreed was watershed and how
as political parties and networks we all need to coalesce into a huge
coalition for change that will set a new paradigm for future generations”.
MDC MP for Zengeza East Alexei Musundire, who has been deployed to
Mashonaland East, said judging from the response that his team has been
getting so far, the belief that rural areas are Zanu PF strongholds
will be demystified come next year.
“It’s based more on mythology than reality that Zanu PF is the only game
down there. The people are a lot wiser now and they are ready to prove
that next year.
“Zanu PF now only exists in name there but nobody follows it anymore and
if we continue on that trajectory, then victory is a given,” Musundire
The MDC efforts at breaking the Zanu PF dominance in these areas is
being complemented by pressure groups such as Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye
iZimbabwe which was launched in August 2016.
The pressure group seeks to educate and mobilise the Zimbabwean rural
populace over the need to get rid of Mugabe and his Zanu PF government.
The MDC controls almost all of the country’s urban constituencies.