The campaign is meant to ensure Zimbabwe has free and fair polls.
Sources in the civil society said there were also serious divisions among members of the Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe over the issue, with some NGOs such as the NCA and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) saying the party wants to use them to further its objectives although it refused to cooperate with them in the constitution- making exercise.
MDC-T is hoping to form an alliance with NGOs so as to develop a national, regional and international campaign through lobbying and advocacy for free and fair elections as well as respect the democratic outcome of the polls.
The campaign intend to lobby NGOs in the Sadc region, African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and other international organisations to help them push for electoral reforms and transitional mechanisms after elections.
However, the sources said the NCA refused to work with the MDC-T on the campaign on the basis that it did not want to be used by the party to do its “dirty work” ahead of the referendum and elections.
The NCA believes the MDC-T undermined civil society groups during the constitution-making exercise although they worked together in the 1999 drive to stop a government-appointed constitutional commission.
An official in the NCA said: “As a civic society organisation we remain guided by our work which is civic duty and not to act as conduits of political parties like what the GAC is modelled. The MDC now wants to use civic society groups to do their dirty work ahead of the referendum and elections but as an organisation we are guided by the values and ideals of the people’s constitution and any processes which are not in line with that we are not part of”.
NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku (pictured) confirmed his party would not work with MDC-T although it had been approached through third parties.
“Obviously there is no way we can do that thing. We are still working on a referendum. The MDC-T did not approach us directly but through other members of the civil society. The NCA has always been distinct, we are an independent organisation and we can’t be seen doing the business of politicians. We can’t be a cover of the MDC-T.”
While PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said there were attempts by MDC-T to woo them into working together again, but they were no longer interested in partisan politics.
“As far as we are concerned as PTUZ, we will resist anyone who will want to abuse our goodwill or to manipulate and control us. We will not be an appendage of anyone,” he said.
However, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said his party would not lose sleep over the issue.