CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) president, Nelson Chamisa, has shifted his focus to rural areas, where the opposition leader is looking for an increased vote share in next year’s general elections.
CCC Midlands Spokesperson Takavafira Zhou said Chamisa, who visited the Midlands structures Friday, told the local leadership to vigorously campaign in the rural areas.
“The president came to thank the citizens for firing yellow warning shots in a warmup or dress rehearsal for 2023. Gokwe received the greatest commendation in light of our increased votes and rigging that ensued,” Zhou said in an interview.
Five constituencies were contested for in the Midlands province during last month’s by-elections and CCC scooped three: Kwekwe Central, Mbizo and Mkoba.
“Out of 5 contested constituencies, CCC emerged victorious in 3 constituencies. President Chamisa reiterated the need to put citizens at the centre of CCC struggle for egalitarianism. Candidates selection for CCC for 2023 would be determined by citizens before the end of 2022, and the days of double candidates would be a thing of the past as the President would directly sign for all candidates,” said Zhou.
He added that Chamisa was now focusing on improving the party’s rural vote share.
“The President also highlighted the need to amplify CCC rural strategy and stressed that CCC’s major thrust would be on growing rural votes, with an immediate inundation strategy of rural areas to mobilise youths to register to vote,” he said.
“He also stressed the need to reform Zec so that it can conduct free, fair and credible results. But most importantly, CCC would ensure that people vote enmasse for it and protect the votes in 2023. His message was more on CCC accountability, transparency and equity; and servant leadership that would ensure better things for all Zimbabweans in order to fulfil the legacy of the liberation struggle,” Zhou said.
The CCC is eyeing about six million votes in 2023, while the ruling Zanu PF party is mobilising for five million.
“We are deepening our links, strengthening our rural networks and spreading all over. We can’t ventilate our strategies in public,” CCC secretary for rural mobilisation and strategy, Happymore Chidziva told NewsDay.
Chidziva said their six million vote mobilisation campaign was not meant to counter that of their archrivals.
The Zanu PF party is currently on a cell restructuring and verification exercise which is targeting to achieve five million supporters.
For a long time, the opposition has been failing to penetrate rural areas — which have proved to be Zanu PF strongholds.