( dpa ) - The main wing of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will this week launch a campaign to demand free and fair elections and better living standards for all, the party said Wednesday.
The New Zimbabwe Campaign, to be launched in the capital on Saturday, will focus on rural areas, considered a bastion of support for longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
"Another contested electoral outcome is not acceptable for the country," party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
Parliamentary and presidential polls are scheduled for March, but the opposition has still not said it will definitely participate.
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led party plans to hold 300 rallies this month alone, particularly in the countryside.
Special attention is being paid to the rural areas to spread the message of change in a new Zimbabwe, said Chamisa.
The MDC will press for a united front comprising churches, opposition parties, students and others to help bring about change in the crisis-ridden country, he said.
Zimbabwe is deep in its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980. Inflation is estimated to be more than 24,000 per cent, and there are acute shortages of some foods, medicine, water and electricity.
Vital power imports from South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been cut, state media reported this week, making the coming days darker still for many Zimbabweans.
The MDC will also launch an international campaign to demand the vote for millions of Zimbabweans driven into economic exile, mainly in former colonial power Britain and neighbouring South Africa.