MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has embraced technology by launching an online campaign to rally support ahead of the crucial 2018 election.
The long-time President Robert Mugabe rival’s digital campaign includes a website — www.votemorgan.org — and a mobile application called “Morgan” that can be downloaded on the Apple app and Google play stores.
On the website and application, also supported by social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the former Prime Minister seeks to connect with his supporters through a live chat platform.
“As we progress to 2018, I want to assure you that I will be here to share my ideas and thoughts and engage with you as much as possible . . . the website . . . will herald the campaign we are getting into,” Tsvangirai said as he announced the campaign on his Facebook page. Mobile applications will be available to make sure that we keep in touch as much as often in this crucial season,” he said.
“You will be able to ask me questions . . . We are also looking for creatives, community organisers, tech-heads and policy experts who would like to volunteer to this campaign,” he added.
This comes as MDC has deployed its senior party officials to rural areas to consolidate its support base in the countryside communities, where the majority of people reside.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has dispatched members of his national standing committee, MPs and other party officials for a rural campaign blitz ahead of the watershed 2018 general elections.
Tsvangirai, who has been criticised for failing to harness the rural vote, has pushed his party machinery to penetrate Zanu PF strongholds with rallies being held in President Robert Mugabe’s rural Zvimba, led by secretary for elections Murisi Zwizwai.
Youth assembly leader Happymore Chidziva was in Chitekete, Gokwe, this week leading rallies and voter registration campaigns ahead of the compilation of a new biometric voter register (BVR).
“We are taking the campaigns to so-called Zanu PF strongholds to carry the message of hope and change. The most important part of our campaigns is to ensure that people register to vote, defend their vote and defeat a Zanu PF regime that has brought nothing, but suffering in their lives for 37 years,” Chidziva said.
Party presidential affairs secretary Sesil Zvidzai, who is leading campaigns in Midlands’ Vungu rural area, was also upbeat, saying the party was speaking with disgruntled war veterans who have been Mugabe’s vanguard declaring resettlement and rural areas no-go areas for opposition supporters.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed the new rural areas thrust, saying his party was ready to face the beast in the eye.
MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC counterpart, Welshman Ncube yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) ahead of next year’s elections, a development that ends a 12-year acrimonious relationship that followed the split of the original MDC in 2005.
In an unprecedented show, both Tsvangirai and Ncube apologised to Zimbabweans for causing the infamous split of 2005, which is believed to have contributed to the opposition parties’ successive election defeats by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Addressing journalists after the signing ceremony, the two opposition leaders took responsibility for Mugabe’s successive victories in 2008 and 2013, saying had they remained together, Zanu PF would have long been thrown into the political dustbin.
“Today, we continue the journey that we started yesterday (Wednesday) with (National People’s Party [NPP] leader) Joice Mujuru; a journey, whose destination is a democratic, free and prosperous Zimbabwe under a caring government,” Tsvangirai said.
MDC-T will boycott a by-election expected in Bulawayo soon following the Government’s firing of Ward 23 councillor Thobani Ncube who was convicted of defrauding a home seeker of $12 000.
Last week, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere fired Ncube after he was sentenced to 36 months in prison which was conditionally commuted to 630 hours of community service.
In an interview yesterday, MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairman Mr Gift Banda said the party will maintain its stance of boycotting by-elections.
“Our stand is that unless there are electoral reforms we will not participate in any elections but we will cross that bridge when we reach it. But I understand that he has filed an appeal,” said Mr Banda.
Ncube was reluctant to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.
MDC-T Harare Proportional Representation MP, Ronia Bunjira, has succumbed to cancer. In a condolence message yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu described Bunjira, who died at a private hospital on Saturday, as a dedicated party cadre and the epitome of democracy.
“The MDC would like to express its deepest condolences on the untimely passing on of our Harare Province women’s assembly chairlady Ronia Bunjira,” Gutu said in a statement.
“Hon Bunjira will be remembered for her selfless and tireless work in making sure that MDC remained strong, united, unshakeable and focused. We mourn the sad passing on of a gallant and fearless fighter for the total and unconditional emancipation of all Zimbabweans, particularly women.”
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