MATABELELAND region will be a hive of activity on Friday, as President Robert Mugabe and MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai descend on the region to canvass for support ahead of next year’s general elections.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Mugabe will be in Lupane for a Zanu PF youth interface rally, while Tsvangirai will be updating the party’s Bulawayo provincial structures on the on-going coalition talks with other opposition parties.
Both rallies were initially set to be held last week, but were cancelled, as both Mugabe and Tsvangirai flew out for medical check-ups in Singapore and South Africa, respectively.
Zanu PF national youth leader, Kudzanai Chipanga confirmed on Monday that Mugabe’s Matabeleland North rally was on this week.
MDC-T provincial spokesperson, Felix Magalela Sibanda yesterday confirmed Tsvangirai’s Friday’s interface meeting with party structures, adding several issues would be discussed.
The meeting is scheduled for McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi high-density suburb.
“Tsvangirai will be interfacing with the Bulawayo provincial assembly in Bulawayo on July 21,” Sibanda said.
“Subject: Interfacing and meeting the local structures, covering various topical issues, be they internal, regional or otherwise.
“The meeting shall be attended by all bona fide structures. However, journalists, severally or individually, shall be accorded special time afterwards to interface with him in whatever way they please.”
This comes amid reports that MDC-T supporters in Bulawayo were against the ongoing coalition talks, saying they had enough gravitas to challenge Zanu PF without the support of other opposition parties.
Tsvangirai’s deputy, Thokozani Khupe, is on record saying the MDC-T only needed a coalition deal in provinces where it has fared badly in previous elections.
The MDC-T meeting also comes at a time the party’s Bulawayo provincial executive has clashed with councillors after the latter sanctioned the disconnection of water supplies to residents with bill arrears.
The local council recently launched a blitz on rate defaulters, cutting water supplies to induce payments.
The party leaders said the ongoing water cuts would portray them as anti-social and derail their campaign efforts ahead of next year’s elections.
“The position is that there must be no arbitrary water disconnections,” Sibanda said.
“The BCC (Bulawayo City Council) executives or personnel should not cut water, but invite defaulters and agree on payment plans first.
“Notwithstanding that, BCC must accept that there is 95% unemployment, hence, they should be tolerant to defaulters.
“BCC and our councillors know our position. We had a closed meeting with councillors, who are policymakers, but they defied properly resolved issues for reasons best known to them.”