THE MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday launched a door-to-door campaign to recruit new members ahead of harmonised elections set later this year.
The party has also promised a new lease of life to Bulawayo residents with an ambitious plan to create jobs and re-open closed industries.
The official launch of the campaign was done in Bulawayo by the party’s vice president, Thokozani Khupe, who is also Deputy Prime Minister.
The party’s national chairman Lovemore Moyo, who is also Speaker of Parliament, said he was troubled by the MDC-T had almost lost ground as members were not voting in their numbers.
Referencing the March 16 referendum on a new constitution, Moyo said: “We came to witness the launch of the door-to-door campaign drive and as leaders we leave the challenge to you the supporters to vote in your numbers.
“Yes you voted in the referendum, but that is not enough because Bulawayo has a huge population and to have only 100,000 people voting is a setback because we can do better.”
Moyo appeared to predict close elections across the city, with the resurgence of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube and firming Zanu PF support across the country.
“The 5,000 that used to vote for MPs can no longer work, at least 9,000 votes are better.”
Under the new constitution, six seats in every province will be distributed to women under proportional representation mechanism and Moyo said he feared the MDC-T – which won all House of Assembly seats in Bulawayo in 2008 – could lose out to other parties if the apathy continues.
Moyo bemoaned violence in the party, saying it had the potential to deny the party victory at the next elections. The MDC-T’s Bulawayo provincial party is beset by divisions, and rival supporters have been arrested following violent clashes.
The door-to-door campaign would see the party’s recruitment teams going to every household inviting residents to join the party. Campaign teams would also be carrying recruitment forms for those who show interest in the party to be signed up as members, according to the party’s deputy national organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe.
“Today we are launching four documents namely: the ‘March to State House’, in which we want to assure our members that come election time our president Morgan Tsvangirai and vice president Thokozani Khupe will occupy the State House.
“The second document is an ‘Unemployment Form’ in which we are saying as a party all unemployed youths in Bulawayo will get jobs because we want to create one million jobs. The other document is the ‘Recruitment Form’,” said Bhebhe.
The party intended to create a computerised database of its supporters with telephone numbers which could be used to communicate with members.
Khupe also appealed to members to vote in their numbers for her party, saying the MDC-T had the best jobs plan.
Ready to go ... Some of the MDC-T's Bulawayo activists who attended launch of campaign