HARARE – The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai is rejuvenating party structures for the 2018 elections. Obert Gutu, the national spokesperson, said a recent National Executive Council strategic retreat meeting had declared 2015 as the year for planning and energising all party structures.

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Gutu

Obert Gutu, the MDC national spokesperson

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“We would like the vibrancy of the party to reach the 1999 standards and even surpass them. We must be fully structured across the country, from Zambezi to Limpopo and from Malipati to Tambandai,” said Gutu, indicating that MDC-T party structures would be well constituted even in President Robert Mugabe’s village in Zvimba.

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Since its formation in 1999, the party’s popularity had been growing daily until in-house fighting led to splits in 2005 and 2014, led by former secretary generals Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti.

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“President Morgan Tsvangirai urged the party to fire from all six cylinders and to achieve this, we should avoid unnecessary conflicts,” said Douglas Mwonzora, the secretary general, indicating that ‘the enemy’ would rejoice when the party fought against itself.

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He noted that recent research findings that Tsvangirai enjoyed 87percent of people’s support, gave MDC-T a healthy starting point.

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Pedzisai Ruhanya, political analyst and director Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said there was need for MDC-T to re-establish itself from top to grass roots levels. “They should desist from doing politics in the media while holed up at Harvest House. They must rejuvenate party structures in the high and low density areas including the rural,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the party has set minimum standards for Zanu (PF) to be readmitted into the international family of nations. These include demands that the government should appoint a team of experts from the Attorney General’s office and other relevant stakeholders to align the laws to the constitution, a complete overhaul of legislation controlling the media industry – to restrict state interference with the public media, and that freedom of assembly, association and speech be fully enjoyed as provided for in the constitution.

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Among several other demands, there were calls for the voter registration to be automatic for all Zimbabweans either on their attainment of 18 years or upon registration. The MDCs have threatened to boycott the 2018 elections if reforms are not done.