Monday 5 June 2023


OPPOSITION political parties have said they are ready to contest in the harmonised elections despite the failure by most of them to draw a consolidated list of candidates barely three weeks before the Nomination Court sits.

Zanu -PF finalised its candidates’ selection more than two months ago with most of the prospective candidates already on the ground canvassing for votes.

President Mnangagwa last Wednesday proclaimed August 23 as the day for the holding of the harmonised elections, marking the official start of the political season.

MDC president Mr Douglas Mwonzora said he will be contesting for the presidency while his party will field candidates for National Assembly and council seats.

He said his party made a resolution on Sunday to contest all available positions.

“We don’t agree with the proclamation of the date by the President because there is a pending court case relating to delimitation. However, our national executive committee on Sunday made a resolution that we are going to elections,” he said.

“These preparations for the elections have been stepped up and we are finalising our candidates’ selection process. We intend to field all the candidates including that of the presidential candidate.”

Mr Mwonzora said the candidates will be made public before the sitting of the Nomination Court.

 “The candidates will be ready by the 21st of June. Actually, our election directorate has set a deadline for Thursday for the submission of candidates for the various constituencies. So, after Thursday, a few constituencies will be holding primary elections and the primaries will be done on one day countrywide,” he said.

Zapu president Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo said the party started campaigning for elections after holding its congress almost two years ago.

 Mr Nkomo said they are uncertain about whether the party will contest for all the available seats, including the presidency.

“When we held our congress in 2021 that is when we started campaigning because it is said you prepare for elections four years in advance. We have covered some ground, but the time has been very short for us to prepare for polls,” he said.

“Ideally, we would prefer to be contesting all positions from the top to the least position.”

Mr Nkomo said it is pleasing that there is peace in the country, which enables political parties to freely campaign.

“At the moment, we have not heard of any violence and we hope it stays like that,” he said.

Zec has assured of its independence in the management of polls.

Citizen Coalition for Change deputy spokesperson Mr Gift Ostallos Siziba said his party is also ready for the harmonised elections.

He said it was CCC’s hope that Zec addresses anomalies that were detected during the voters’ roll inspection.

“We have to prepare for the elections and we are preparing,” said Mr Siziba.

Meanwhile, political analyst Mr Teddy Ncube said the opposition political parties are not ready for the elections.

“Elections are very scientific and they are prepared for. If you consult even political scientists’ they will tell you that you start preparing for an election 18 months before the election itself,” he said.

“It’s clearly out there that if you start preparing two months before an election then you have a problem. As it relates to preparedness I don’t think the opposition is ready.”

Mr Ncube said by now the public should be aware of the candidates participating in the polls.

 “I think there is a lot that we are supposed to see from the opposition that is not there, particularly now that we are two months away from the general election. For example, we should be knowing who is contesting where, who is the Presidential candidate, who is the MP and who is the Senator,” he said.

“We haven’t seen that and it effectively means we don’t know who these candidates are going to be and where they are going to come from. And that gives the electorate a very difficult task to get to know candidates two months or one month before the election.” Herald


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