AS preparations for the 2018 elections gather momentum, the MDC-T UK branch will host party vice president Thokozani Khupe at the end of this month to share ideas on how best the party can organise itself for the crunch vote.
The MDC UK is co-hosting the executive meeting and the rally with Ireland at the Slough and High Wycombe Branch.
UK branch’s spokesperson Makusha Mugabe said Khupe’s visit comes against the backdrop of frustrated opposition efforts to engage government on making the electoral playing field level ahead of the key vote.
93-year-old President Robert Mugabe served as Zimbabwe's first post-independence prime minister between 1980 and 1987 and has been the country’s sole president ever since.
If he wins next year’s election, it becomes his eighth term in office as the leader of independent Zimbabwe and its virtually economy.
“The MDC UK is working on how to support the 2018 election which is already proving to be challenging because of ZANU (PF) machinations,” Mugabe said in a statement.
He added, “ZEC has produced electoral regulations that entrench cheating; the government has rejected UNDP participation in procurement of biometric voter registration equipment; reforms recommended by Sadc and the AU have not been implemented.”
He said the party is seeking a solution to all those factors affecting elections outcomes in the country for decades.
“The MDC is not willing to repeat the same practices that have led to stolen elections in previous years.
“At the centre of stolen elections is ZANU PF manipulation of the election process through control of the institutions that run the elections.
“The VP is expected to brief the UK province on progress made in negotiations with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to level the playing field.”
Opposition parties have been engaging ZEC under the banner of Nera which stands for National Electoral Reform Agenda. Realising the power of convergence, the parties have also been mooting a coalition but disagreements on who to include and lead it have stalled progress.
“She is also expected to brief the UK supporters and members on progress made in uniting the political parties in the country for a single Presidential candidate, and whether wards and constituencies would also have single candidates.
“Based on this information, the UK would then calibrate its support and fundraising activities for the crucial election. All Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe are welcome,” said Makusha.
Elections in Zimbabwe have become synonymous with political violence targeted mainly on opposition supporters, allegations of electoral fraud and contested outcomes.
Mugabe’s government refutes the claims describing them whining of opposition leaders who find it hard to acknowledge defeat to an organised ruling party.