MDC targets grassroots as party continues to lose council by-elections

THE MDC is currently in a fix to turn around its fortunes through re-organisation of the entire party system following recent defeats in council by-elections to the ruling Zanu PF party, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

The party has so far dismantled its ward-based structures in favour of branch-based ones, with the aim to reinforce its grassroots support.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post on Monday, party secretary-general Chalton Hwende said; “The activity aims at fulfilling a congress resolution which seeks to give power to the people after realising that grassroots are the primary unit of the party.”

The MDC secretary general further said those within the party structures should have their names registered at branch level, including even the party president and all other office-bearers.

“MDC is a young growing party. In the next congress we are, therefore, going to see 99 percent of our delegates coming from the branches, and this will strengthen our position as we reposition the party,” Hwende said.

Over the weekend, most areas in Harare metropolitan were busy conducting branch elections.

“The ongoing party re-organisation has nothing to do with us losing council by elections but aims at repositioning our structures after realising that grassroots were the primary unit of the party,” Hwende said.

The MDC has been losing council by-elections one after the other, with the latest being in Chiredzi Rural District Council at the weekend.

“We have lost these rural elections because the traditional leaders have been commandeering their subjects to vote for the ruling party. The ground has not been level. They are refusing to implement the reforms that we are pushing for.

“Zanu PF has manipulated the voters’ roll and the election itself, harassed party supporters and made the lives of our activists unbearable. With that, you can’t expect us to win in those areas. But where there are no chiefs, we have been winning these elections,” Hwende said.