THE MDC led by outgoing Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube has vowed to shock Zanu PF and the MDC-T in next week’s polls saying have taken the party for granted over the years.
The MDC was part of an uneasy four-year coalition government with MDC-T and Zanu PF, but the two main parties played big brother role underestimating the influence of Ncube and his followers.
Campaigning under the theme “Devolution is the new revolution”, the MDC says it is the game-changer in next week’s elections because it will garner more votes than in 2008 where the party won 10 House of Assembly seats, and six senatorial seats.
Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that the campaign trail was going on smoothly with the presidential team led by Ncube covering two rallies per district per day, while aspiring MPs were on an aggressive door-to-door campaign.
Prospective councillors are concentrating on their wards. The MDC, he said, was not moved by the huge crowds thronging Zanu PF and MDC-T rallies, saying from their party’s assessment the majority of Zimbabweans were likely to rally behind his party because of the importance of devolution which they fought to be provided for in the new constitution.
“We started campaigning in January 2011 after our congress and we have only intensified the campaigns in the run-up to the July 31 elections,” he said.
“People have taken us for granted, but our party is the game-changer. We took advantage of the uncontested space and planted our strong support base. Those who were writing us off were just sounding their own death knell.”
If elected to form a new government, Dube said, the MDC would concentrate on creating a stable economy which will create more jobs.
The party would focus on devolution as a way of exploiting local resources for the benefit of grassroots to develop provinces and districts.
Dube added that devolution would help decongest Harare, which has millions of unemployed youths while others are roaming the streets.
“Come July 31, the people will choose between the good and the bad; and we know that devolution is good for the development of Zimbabwe.
That makes our party the first choice,” he said.
On the grand coalition with the MDC-T, Dube dismissed claims by the MDC-T they were offered a document suggesting a pact to help unseat President Robert Mugabe, who has been clinging onto power for the past 33 years.
He said MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was misleading Zimbabweans by portraying Ncube as a bad leader who blocked an electoral pact against Mugabe.
“The MDC-T never suggested a coalition; they are speaking at us through the newspapers. Tsvangirai is grandstanding and lying that Ncube refused a coalition so that he decampaigns our leader. We can only afford to work with those we share the same ideas with,” said Dube.
The MDC formed a pact with Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa although political pundits argue that the coalition could have been stronger if Ncube had joined hands with Tsvangirai.
Dube was also adamant that should there be a presidential run-off, it would be any other candidate against Ncube whom he claimed was assured of securing enough votes to upset both Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
But observers say the presidential race would be between Mugabe and Tsvangirai while Ncube could get about 8% which voted for Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba Makoni in 2008. Ncube and Dabengwa supported Makoni’s candidature in 2008 and that 8% of the vote could swing in Ncube’s favour.