MDC embarks on voter mobilisation

HARARE - The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC is embarking on a door-to-door voter mobilisation ahead of the much-anticipated 2018 harmonised elections.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the party is looking to increase its voting numbers in 2018.

“The MDC is geared to increase its voting numbers to at least three million votes; enough for us to win the presidency. We are excited to reveal that the MDC youth assembly, led by the firebrand Happymore Chidziva, is working round the clock to mobilise the young voters; particularly the first-time voters. As you know, at least 62 percent of the voting population in Zimbabwe is made up of people under the age of 40.

“The youth vote is critical in winning the elections next year. ... Tsvangirai is currently reaching out to all corners of the country, consulting and comparing notes with various opinion leaders, including traditional leaders. We are on a roll. We will keep pressure on the bankrupt and faction-infested Zanu PF regime to ensure that electoral reforms are put in place.”

Gutu said the MDC through the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) will make sure that Zanu PF will implement electoral reforms before the elections.

“This is one of the major reasons why the MDC is a very active participant in the Nera project. We know that the Zanu PF regime is very reluctant to adopt electoral reforms before they know that they can never win a free and fair election. We are maintaining the pressure. We are relentless.

“We have adopted the ward-based voter mobilisation strategy. This is retail politics at its best. We are reaching out to voters using a persuasive door-to-door network. Some people are saying that MDC is not visible but we are actually everywhere; by the people’s doorsteps.”

The former Chisipite senator added that the party bigwigs will launch the voter mobilisation programme in their rural homes.

“Tsvangirai was recently in his rural ward at Humanikwa village in Buhera, where he personally launched the ward-based strategy. Vice president Thokozani Khupe was also recently at her home village in Matebeleland North where she also launched the programme.

“All the National Standing Committee members, national executive members cascading downwards have all been tasked to go back to their rural wards and launch the ward-based strategy. I was in ward 35 in Gutu Central constituency for this particular purpose.”

Last year, Tsvangirai said his party is targeting to register about 800 000 voters in Harare alone.

Since formation of the MDC in 1999, the long-time President Robert Mugabe rival has amassed the majority of his votes from urban constituencies, particularly Harare and Bulawayo — making them his strongholds.

Tsvangirai said “the capital (Harare) is key to MDC’s electoral success against Mugabe.

“…all provinces should start with a massive turnout when voter registration kick-starts early next year,” he said.

“I understand it will be in April and we are assuming that none of us is a registered voter so we are all starting afresh, which means together with all your children …if we register a minimum of 800 000 votes in

Harare, we have won,” Tsvangirai said.

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