Tuesday, 6 July 2021

ZANU PF READIES FOR BY-ELECTIONS


ZANU PF has invited its members intending to contest in by-elections to submit CVs to the party, hinting that the party was already preparing for the by-elections despite pleas from the opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora to suspend all electoral processes.

According to a memo from the party acting commissar Patrick Chinamasa, all interested candidates are expected to submit their CVs and kick-start the process that will lead to by-elections anytime soon.

Chinamasa told the provincial structures in a July 2, 2021 circular to submit names of interested candidates to the party headquarters for vetting and approval by July 16. “In turn, the commissariat department will advise provinces on dates of the primary elections once the dates have been set,” he said.

Chinamasa immediately warned provincial structures that they had “no mandate to disqualify any aspiring candidate” and that “no primary elections should be held” without his authorisation. Over 30 seats were left vacant after MDC Alliance MPs were recalled by MDC-T.

Last year, the government through Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga indefinitely, suspended by-elections in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, a position that angered the opposition MDC Alliance and other stakeholders who felt it was undemocratic and unconstitutional.

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said his party has always been ready for by-elections, but wants the playing field to be levelled.

Zanu PF has been allowed to gather thousands of its supporters for political meetings, while MDC Alliance has been denied the same opportunity.

“The preparations we have been doing is to push for electoral reforms and make sure the level field is equal in terms of opportunities to be canvassing for votes,” Hlatywayo said.

“We lost our elected representatives after (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and (MDC-T leader Douglas) Mwonzora colluded to withdraw them, but our national council resolved that those candidates will stand in the elections. We are already with the people and the people are with us. It is Zanu PF and Mwonzora who are afraid of an imminent defeat.” Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba said his party was also ready for the polls.

“We have always been prepared for by-elections. Getting CVs is administrative but politically, it’s something else. Politically, we are geared for the by-elections,” he said. Newsday

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