MDC has gone all out to grab the Lupane East constituency from Zanu PF, dispatching party heavyweights and its president Nelson Chamisa to drum up support for candidate Dalumazi Khumalo.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Chamisa, in the company of deputy presidents Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube and Lynette Karenyi-Kore, were in Lupane where he addressed two rallies as the party drummed up support for their candidate ahead of the August 3 by-election.
Smarting from losses in Nyanga and Masvingo council by-elections the MDC has upped its tempo, burning the midnight oil in the hope that it could snatch the seat which fell vacant following the death of Zanu PF’s Sithembile Gumbo.
Chamisa toured St Luke’s Hospital meeting staff and praying for the sick.
Party spokesperson Daniel Molokele told Southern Eye yesterday that they are intensifying campaigns this week.
“At the moment, we are happy with the preparations, especially the level of campaign at ward level and the door-to-door campaigns – peacefully. We are not just relying on rallies, but we are making sure that we are meeting the people in that approach, so at the moment it’s looking promising. This week we will look at intensifying our door-to-door campaigns,” he said.
Molokele added: “It was a huge morale boost to have all the vice-presidents attend the rally with president Chamisa and MDC top leadership supporting our candidate. The president connected with the people which is critical.”
The MDC youth league leadership has also camped in Lupane, propping up the party ahead of the polls.
The MDC is livid that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has not acted against Zanu PF after it allegedly tried to push Health minister Obediah Moyo to use national medical stocks as a vote-buying gimmick.
In the past, vote-buying has marred the credibility of elections in the country and featured prominently in the observer mission reports of the 2018 general elections, with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission condemning Zanu PF for abusing food aid to buy votes.
Adressing a rally at Daluka, Chamisa castigated the ruling party of using dirty tactics, including food and medicines to buy votes.
Independent elections watchdog Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) has called on legislators and Zec to establish an independent elections disciplinary hearing committee to deal with elections malpractice.
MDC secretary for elections, Jacob Mafume on Friday last week said it was sad that even after the recommendations had reached Zec, the body was still sitting back and watching electoral malpractice happen.
In a statement last week, Zec said it was not empowered at law to investigate or deal with any electoral malpractice, but left that duty to the police and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.