THE MDC ALLIANCE led by Nelson Chamisa has decried continued marginalisation of Matabeleland region and promised to end it if the opposition party is voted into power in 2023.

Chamisa is in Matabeleland where he is meeting rural voters as he drums up support ahead of possible by-elections early next year, and the harmonised elections in 2023.

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba told the media on Monday evening that people of Matabeleland were unhappy with the marginalisation of the region.

“So this year we are focusing on the citizens’ convergence for change and the philosophical underpinning of this annual theme is that we are taking the party back to its roots, which is the people,” he said.

“So we are taking the party back to its founding social forces, these social forces are the students, labour, church, traditional leaders, and community leaders.

“The first issue that emerged in Matabeleland was marginalisation.

“There is overwhelming consensus around the question of underdevelopment of these provinces which community leaders have conviction that it is marginalisation because of the structure and design of our politics in this country.

“Number two was the issue of marginalisation of languages in the province.”

Siziba said once Chamisa’s party wins the 2023 elections, it would end underdevelopment of Matabeleland and side-lining of languages in the region, particularly Ndebele, Kalanga and Tonga.

“The president and the leadership of the party responded to these key questions during the interface and of course got the opportunity to share with the communities in and around our party’s view, around key issues like the party’s name, and how we intend to deploy candidates.

“One of the predominant issues that came from community leaders is that they do not want candidates imported to lead them. So the party has responded by proposing a community-based candidate selection programme. So this time we are not going to be having primary elections as a party,” he said.