Harare, Zimbabwe., August 07, 2019
Opposition FIGHTBACK in Rural Areas
The Local Solutions Council notes that Opposition Parties partial foothold in rural constituencies has been on a downward trajectory since the 2013 election and worsened in last year’s election in 2018. This scenario has been laid bare by the recent opposition’s painful lose in three by elections in rural areas. However, it is vital to have a perusal at the ruling party’s rural election tactics which have been central to its rural election success.
Zanu PF Rural Election Tactics are centred on:
- Abuse of state resources for election campaigns.
- Intimidation & Fear tactics.
- Threats to access Government services, agriculture inputs & food freebies.
- Propaganda on the election process – poll station cameras and ballot papers.
- Constant reminders of historical violence.
- Outright Rigging Tactics.
Opposition: Special national Project
In line with the Zanu PF Rural Election Tactics; the Opposition parties must regroup, refocus and fightback to overcome its current electoral challenges. More importantly, in rural constituencies and wards, the MDC Alliance needs to collaborate with other smaller but influential opposition parties to unite and field a single candidate per election slate.
The Opposition should initiate a special national project where it should launch a platform for Counter Rural Election Tactics. And this initiative should focus on strengthening rural party structures, relook at the rural political economy, mobilisation of resources, initiating flexible anti-rigging mechanism, set up innovative communications channels for rural voters and create conditions for an inclusive political dialogue.
The Local Solutions Council notes that at the end of the day, it is evidently clear that Zimbabwe is in a crisis and even rural voters are feeling the economic pinch which is underlined by unsustainable crop prices and the ever-rising prices of basic commodities.
Therefore, opposition parties need to take a holistic approach to differentiate the rural voter from the urban voter. More importantly, a collaboration of opposition parties needs to launch a special national project which is designed to address the concerns and needs of the rural voter in both the short term and long term.
Local Solutions Council
Alternative Website: www.thesolutionstower.com
LSC Strategic Unit Members: Chairman – D.R Nyambiya; K. Jambawo; F. Maguwu; G. Mapope; J. Makumbe; O. Kurauone; S. Manungo; L. Makusha; C. Nhliziyo; T. Tembo; T. Mushayi