MDC president Nelson Chamisa, whose party has been suffering a string of defeats in by-elections particularly in the rural areas, has said he has a plan which will see the MDC make inroads into rural Zimbabwe.
Chamisa says the plan will see the MDC able to field 210 parliamentary candidates and councillors in all wards in the next general election in 2023 so that they match and beat Zanu-PF.
“We are already preparing for our candidates where we don’t have a seating MP, particularly in the rural areas. We want to make sure that we go big on the rural strategy; we go big on rural elections.
“I know you have been wondering what’s happening on the issue of by-elections, we know what we are doing.
“We are studying, assessing our weak points, our strong points, where our competitors are manipulating our parents in the rural areas, so that we deal with it and are able to move forward,” Chamisa said in a video he recorded live on Facebook.
He however admitted that life was much better in rural areas where worries over load-shedding were minimum, adding that he is also retreating into rural areas after “suffering 16 hours of load shedding recently.”
“We are very clear about what has to be done. I know the suffering that is out there. I have been without electricity myself here for almost 16 hours and I can tell you that I am retreating to my village because it’s better there.
“We are going to be delivering the Hope of The Nation Address. It’s going to deal with a lot of issues; our perspectives, economically, politically and socially, our thoughts and the way forward in our view and what has to be done for this country.”
Chamisa said he was working towards building a stronger party with a branch denoted by every polling station in the country.
“We are in the process of working on a number of activities to strengthen our party. We are now moving from being a top-heavy party to being a grassroots-driven party that has lower structures,” he said.
“That’s what we are already working on to make sure we strengthen our branches, so every polling station is going to have branch structures. We are trying to work on our election preparedness, targeting our first time voters. We want to capture young people so that they take us forward.”