With the emergence of Zapu in Matabeleland, Tsvangirai is said to be taking no chances and is determined to ensure that his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) gains more ground in the region which has traditionally supported his party.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed that his boss will be in Matabeleland at the weekend.
“He will be travelling to Mat South to meet traditional leaders and hold a number of rallies. It’s not that he is campaigning but it’s his routine to meet the people. He is always with the people and that is why he will be in Matabeleland. From there, he will go to every province,” said Tamborinyoka.
Tsvangirai is also said to be keen to meet MDC leaders in Matabeleland South to ensure that they do not fight for positions in the party ahead of the congress which is due in May. There has been serious jostling for positions in the party as it emerges that the organising secretary Elias Mudzuri is facing defeat.
Radio VOP understands that Mudzuri has become unpopular with virtually all the provinces and is said to be leaning on Tsvangirai to save him.
“Matabeleland is a key region in terms of votes for Tsvangirai and he has to go there on a regular basis to remind the people that he has not forgotten them. At MDC we feel that the Matabeleland vote is key and that is why the President has to attend to the needs of the people there.
“There have also been reports of infighting among the people in Matabeleland over posts ahead of the congress and the President will also deal with that issue. During the 2008 elections we were divided in the Midlands and it was costly as the late Patrick Kombayi fielded his own MDC candidates.
“We also lost about 10 seats in the Midlands because if you add the votes in each constituency where we had two candidates, we could have easily won,” said a top MDC official.