MDC Alliance member and Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) leader, Jacob Ngarivhume has said the grouping is working on engaging traditional leaders in rural areas to demystify the notion that they have to serve Zanu PF interests at elections.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
On Tuesday, Ngarivhume, who is the alliance’s spokesperson, addressed traditional leaders in Bikita, Masvingo, where he also explained the purpose of the seven-member opposition coalition.
“Traditional leaders play a very important role in our politics and, as you know, Zanu PF has rigged elections through traditional leaders. They have coerced them into lining people to vote for Zanu PF and this is one of the main issues that we need to deal with as the opposition and as a coalition,” he said.
“We need to build the confidence of the people of Zimbabwe and that of traditional leaders in this country, so that they work with our coalition.
“This is the process that we have begun as Transform Zimbabwe and, as a member of the coalition, we are engaging them in rural areas to make sure they understand the purpope of the coalition and to make sure that they are not intimidated so that they vote and allow the people to vote where they wish.”
Traditional leaders have been accused of acting in a partisan manner mostly in rural areas, where Zanu PF has managed to extend its dominance over the opposition parties.
Ngarivhume challenged his coalition partners to go to their structures and explain the alliance so that there would be unity of purpose at all levels.
The TZ leader said it would not help anyone if parties campaigned for themselves without campaigning for their presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.
“If we win as MPs and fail to win the Presidency, then that means nothing,” he said.
“Chairpersons of the parties must now meet and foster unity on the ground. At national level, we are all in good books as the presidents, but that will translate into nothing if our people fail to unite at the grassroots level. We want to make sure that we speak with one voice.”