The MDC President, Nelson Chamisa, has established a war veteran’s wing tasked to descend on grassroots mass recruitment and member education as the urban dominant opposition party seeks rural electorate to buy into the 19 years old party’s ideological pathways.
The rural vote has always cost the MDC Alliance both in the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The development is likely to clash with Zanu PF’s freedom fighters which for long have been acting as agents of the ruling party and at some point used as intimidation agents leaving the revolutionary party enjoying monopoly in rural areas.
Speaking at the official welcome ceremony of the former National People’s Party (NPP) members at the party Headquarters yesterday, Chamisa expressed concern over the welfare of the liberation fighters lambasting defense deputy minister and war veterans Secretary General Victor Matemadanda for being selfish.
“Matemadanda iyezvino akazorwa nhopi, vana Mahiya kana domwe zvaro re nhopi haana kana kupuhwa..,(Matemadanda is now enjoying alone yet others like Mahiya have nothing)
“We want our war veterans to be respected for the role that they played and this is the beginning of what we want to do.
“We now have a focus to go into the rural areas, our focus has always been urban focused, but without rural focus and going forward you will see that starting from this election, we want to reverse. More votes must come from rural areas,” Chamisa said.
Chamisa added that in rural areas Zanu PF enjoys a forced support as it beat people adding that a party that connects with people and cares for their livelihoods will not coerce people into submission.
Among the war liberators were Machiri Simon, who was the NPP’s national chairperson,Bernard Ncube and Olleys Mazorodze from Mashonaland central.
The 40- year- old opposition leader pleaded with war veterans stalwart and former NPP Chairperson Dzikamai Mavhaire, who led a delegation from NPP among them a cross section of liberation war heroes, to descend into the rural areas to hear the issues the rural folks have.
“We want the liberation icons like Mavhaire and the rest of you. We want integrate both the old and the young so that we go forward,” Chamisa said.
The government and war veterans have been lately at loggerheads with the war heroes spearheading the downfall of Robert Mugabe expressing discontent over a cocktail of issues the 37 years ruler failed among them failing to reign in her wife Grace who appeared ready to take over from Mugabe.