MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been holding consultations with party structures in Matabeleland as the opposition party battles to regain lost ground in the region.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
Tsvangirai’s party lost the remainder of the seats it held in Matabeleland South during the 2013 harmonised elections.
The party also lost another five seats in Bulawayo and Tsholotsho North after it fired MPs before boycotting the by-elections last month.
The Matabeleland and Bulawayo provinces had been MDC-T strongholds since the formation of the party in 1999.
Tsvangirai held meetings with Bulawayo on Saturday, Matabeleland North (Friday) and Matabeleland South (Thursday) last week where he engaged party structures.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu told Southern Eye Tsvangirai was holding routine meetings, contrary to claims by some party officials that he is preparing for the 2018 elections.
He said party leaders were holding consultations countrywide and Tsvangirai had been assigned the Matabeleland provinces.
‘Tsvangirai is always busy engaging all the MDC-T structures and organs because the party is the de facto government-in-waiting,” Gutu said.
“We are always working extremely hard to sharpen our skills and strategies as the country’s biggest and most popular political party.
“The party structures are very enthusiastic to meet and mingle with their leader.
“We are exerting tremendous political, diplomatic and legal pressure on the Zanu PF regime to ensure that all the electoral reforms that we are demanding are put in place in time for the 2018 elections”.
Gutu said the party was happy with the consultations so far.
“The party leadership is touring all provinces as we speak,” he said.
“Every member of the national standing committee has been allocated a province to supervise and in my case, I am responsible for Mashonaland East province.
“The president, vice – president (Thokozani Khupe) and the national chairman (Lovemore Moyo) are co – coordinating the whole exercise.”
Gutu said Khupe held several meetings in Hurungwe West last weekend.
In the run-up to June 10 by-elections, Tsvangirai faced resistance and had a torrid time explaining the party’s decision to the polls.
The boycott widened the rift among top party leaders, with Khupe said to be plotting to unseat him over the boycott stance.
Some of the meetings held in Bulawayo had to be aborted as rival party members clashed.