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MDC-T 'Dumps' Election Boycott, Starts Campaigning for 2018 Polls

  • Chris Gande

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been holding numerous rallies throughout Zimbabwe drumming up support for his strategy dubbed “No Reforms, No Elections”.

This strategy was used in the recent parliamentary by-elections that saw Zanu PF winning all the 14 contested seats which the MDC-T boycotted.

However, party officials told VOA Studio 7 on Monday that they are confident that electoral reforms will be in place by 2018 and are therefore preparing for the general elections.

The latest report that the party is now preparing for elections surprised many who were of the impression that without any electoral reforms they would not participate in the polls.

In a move designed to drum up support ahead of the 2018 general elections, the party will soon dispatch a delegation to Europe and Western nations to brief them about its preparations for the crucial polls.

“The four-day visit has been made possible by the host countries which have invited us. We are also going to take that chance to meet with our party structures in these countries and intensify our 2018 political campaigns which have already started in earnest,” said Mwonzora in an interview with an Internet news site, NewZimbabwe.com.

In what appeared to be a confirmation of the United States’ growing displeasure at the “No Reforms, No Elections” strategy, staff director, Gregory Simpkins, of the U.S House Subcommittee on Africa, Health, Human Rights and International Relations, last month hit out at the MDC-T saying opposition parties cannot criticize a system that they were not part of.

When asked to clarify the issue, party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora told Studio 7 that they do not want to talk about what would happen if there were no reforms by 2018 because they have no doubt that the reforms will be in place at that time.

But political analyst, George Mkhwananzi, said the MDC-T should in the first place explain to the public its push for electoral reforms if it has to be taken seriously.

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