Bernard Chiketo 16 May 2017
MUTARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is leaving no stone
unturned in its quest to defeat President Robert Mugabe and his warring
Zanu PF in next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.
This comes as the MDC has launched an aggressive recruitment exercise,
targeting even sex workers as part of its strategy to win the watershed
It also comes as Tsvangirai is leading efforts to unite the country’s
opposition ahead of next year, an alliance which analysts say presents
them with the best chance to finally bring down Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Manicaland launch of the “Bereka Mwana
Tiende” voter recruitment campaign in Mutare on Saturday, MDC national
youth league chairperson, Happymore Chidziva, said the decision to woo sex
workers was informed by the fact that they were “the public, glaring face
of the government’s failure”.
“They are of importance to the struggle because they have been pushed into
commercial sex work due to the hardships they have faced . . . They will
speak to the nation about how tough times have become.
“To call them prostitutes is to degrade them. We are targeting the girl
child who is being abused by the current government to the extent of being
forced to sell their bodies to survive.
“Their voices must be heard. They should be afforded the opportunity to
share their stories . . . and we all share the same challenges,” Chidziva
told the Daily News.
The “Bereka Mwana Tiende” campaign is a door-to-door voter registration
campaign which urges all Zimbabweans, particularly first-time voters, to
register ahead of next year’s general elections.
Chidziva said it was very important for young people to have a say in the
politics of the country, as they could also decide the course of an
“The MDC was formed in 1999 and next year all those who were born at the
turn of the century will be eligible to vote. This campaign is aimed at
exciting them to register and vote,” Chidziva said.
A fortnight ago, Tsvangirai himself also delivered a warning to youths and
first time voters to register and vote in next year’s elections.
“In our last election, only five percent of those between the age of 18
and 35 voted. I am now challenging all these young people because you are
allowing us the old people to continue defining your future.
“Are you aware that you are outsourcing your future to the old, even to
grandfathers like Mugabe. You are outsourcing your future to that old man.
What does that mean?
“Let’s all go and register to vote. On voting day, we are not supposed to
go home without casting our votes.
“And simply going to vote is also not good enough. We must also defend our
vote. We must not leave this duty to only a few people,” Tsvangirai said
“I am making a final appeal to you. You are the game changers, as 60
percent of those below the age of 40 are the majority of the country’s
population . . . unfortunately, you are leaving everything in Tsvangirai’s
“When Zanu PF rigs elections, many of you simply look up to me. Some of
you don’t have national identity cards, others do not even make an effort
to get these ID cards.
“Yet others don’t even come around on the days to register for elections.
So . . . you are in effect saying the old generation must define your
future,” he added.
The former prime minister in the stability-inducing government of national
unity made his forceful call at a time that he is on the cusp of
finalising coalition agreements with other opposition leaders ahead of
next year’s eagerly-anticipated polls.