MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa will this weekend invade Zanu PF strongholds in Mashonaland Central and East provinces, as he ups the stakes ahead of the 2018 general elections.
This will be Chamisa’s first series of rallies in the traditional Zanu PF strongholds since he took over leadership of the opposition party, following the death of founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai last month.
On Saturday, Chamisa is set to address an MDC Alliance rally in Murewa before proceeding to Nzvimbo growth point in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central, the following day.
The provinces used to be regarded as no-go areas for opposition politics during the era of former President Robert Mugabe. Chamisa’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the rallies.
“We are going rural and the MDC Alliance has from now on, heavily tilted its campaign towards the rural areas,” he said.
“On Saturday, we will be in Murewa and proceed to Chiweshe. We will scour every village and every ward. We are talking of a presidential candidate (Chamisa), who grew up in Gutu and when he is in the rural areas, he will be in his domain.”
Chamisa has held several successful rallies after the death of Tsvangirai except for Plumtree, which was poorly attended, but the alliance partners attributed the low turnout to rains, although some observers blamed it to the fallout between Chamisa and MDC-T vice president, Thokozani Khupe.
The Mashonaland provinces, especially Mashonaland East’s Uzumba-Maramba Pfungwe, often report shockingly high electoral figures for Zanu PF.
This comes as police in Marondera have finally granted the MDC Alliance permission to hold its rally at Rudhaka Stadium on Saturday after they had initially blocked it, citing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s alleged visit to the town on the same date.
The MDC Alliance, however, moved the rally to Murewa.
MDC-T Mashonaland East deputy organising secretary, Boniface Tagwirei, confirmed the development, which he said had been overtaken by events, as they had moved the rally to Murewa.
“I received a letter from the district police commander informing us that we could go ahead with the rally at Rudhaka Stadium, as per our application. It is too late now since we have settled for Murewa. We cannot change that now, they initially blocked our rally, saying Mnangagwa was coming, but they are now saying we can go ahead. We will hold the Marondera rally some other time, as for Saturday we are heading to Murewa,” he said.