Zanu PF, MDC-T fight over rural support
The MDC-T says Zanu PF is afraid of losing elections, hence their efforts to ensure that the former opposition party does not make inroads in rural areas, where uniformed forces have reportedly been deployed.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said in an interview this week that it was still not easy to enter rural areas and campaign ahead of the next elections which Zanu PF wants to be held this year.
Mwonzora alleged Zanu PF wanted to fast-track an election because of the unfair support they enjoyed from the military junta.
He said given a free and fair electoral environment, his party would triumph.
“Security sector reforms are necessary before these elections are conducted because members of the armed forces continue to pose a threat to the voters,” said Mwonzora.
“For example, we have a standing threat by some commanders who have said they will not accept any result that declared president anyone that was not Zanu PF. That needs to be changed,” he said.
Mwonzora said the army and Central Intelligence Organisation should be stopped from campaigning for political parties and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should rid itself of political agents from its secretariat.
“If Zanu PF thinks it can defeat us in the rural areas, it must agree to a free and fair election and we will show them that we have support. They have lost ground in rural areas and that is why they are resorting to intimidation and abuse of the armed forces,” Mwonzora said.
But, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday dismissed Mwonzora’s claims, saying the MDC-T was playing a blame game because their structures were disjointed.
“We are not calling for elections because the MDC-T structures at grassroots are fractured. We have called for elections because that was part of the Global Political Agreement and we have to respect what has been stipulated in the GPA,” said Gumbo.
He said it was not true that his party was using the military to bar other political parties from campaigning and said Zanu PF would win as they had very strong structures at grassroots.
But Mwonzora maintained MDC-T structures were very strong at branch, district and provincial levels and said they were ready to contest any election.