MDC Midlands on the mend



THE MDC Midlands has embarked on an outreach programme to mend cracks that emerged in districts ahead of the party’s fifth elective congress with the major aim of winning the rural vote in the next polls.

The programme, which started on July 8, has seen the provincial party leaders leading teams comprising of senior members into the remote areas of the vast Midlands province.

The initial roll out of the plan saw the leaders descending on remote areas such as Gokwe Sengwa, Gokwe Kana, Silobela and Zhombe during the weekend of July 6.
The teams also visited Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, Chirumanzu South, Shurugwi North and Shurugwi South districts.

Last weekend, the provincial party leaders had district meetings in Vungu, Chiwundura, Redcliff, Kwekwe Central, Mbizo, Gokwe Central, Gokwe Mapfungautsi, Gokwe Sesame, Gokwe Chireya, Gokwe Kabuyuni, Gokwe Nembudziya and Gokwe Gumunyu.

Josiah Makombe, the MDC Midlands provincial chairperson, said the aim of his team was to visit all the 28 districts in the province before the end of this month in order to strengthen the party’s presence at grassroots levels.

“What we are doing is that we want to achieve the pledge that I made last year that the MDC must win all the rural constituencies and end Zanu PF dominance in Midlands,” he said.

“As the first step, we have been making these visits to the lower tier of our structures which is the branch level. One of the resolutions of the last congress was that we need to prioritise the supremacy of the branch level and build strong baseline support. That is what we are implementing.”

In the Midlands province, the MDC only has four constituencies under its control out of 28.

These are Mbizo (Settlement Chikwinya), Redcliff (Lloyd Mukapiko), Gweru Urban (Brian Dube) and Mkoba (Amos Chibaya).

Makombe indicated that he was impressed by the number of people who have been attending the district meetings, saying it gives hope of a sustainable growth trajectory the MDC is making.

“The MDC has not been doing well in rural areas. We are making progress in correcting that and come the next elections, our house will be in order and we are confident of sweeping the seats,” he said.

Searchmore Muringani, the party’s Midlands deputy information and publicity secretary, said the opposition party’s leadership had resolved that all members of the party with top posts should be active at the branch level and the message is being preached during the district meetings.

“Key to the supremacy of the branch principle is that every party member must have a root at a particular branch attached to the polling station they are registered to vote,” he said.

“This means that even the president of the MDC and the national leadership must be members of a particular branch.”

Muringani said only the top 10 members elected during the district congresses shall remain sitting in the district administrative committee, while all wards are dissolved.

“Everyone, from the rest of the district members and all ward members, are now supposed to form branches and strengthen the party in preparation for growing the movement towards the next elections,” he said.

“Overwhelming attendance was recorded in all districts visited with the leadership emphasising on unity after the differences in candidates choice during the congress. The message from the attending members was clear, they are suffering in abject poverty due to the crippling economic conditions, they are ready to be led into action. They want a signal and cannot stand any day longer under the current government.”