Regina Pasipanodaya / Mary Mundeya
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe have been caught pants down with the election date proclamation as none of them have completed selecting candidates to represent them in the country’s upcoming harmonised elections.
The proclamation came at a time stakeholders were lobbying for electoral reforms with Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) demanding access to and an auditable voters’ roll, as well as public media access which it says will help level the playing field ahead of the polls.
However, with over a month since its candidate selection process began, CCC is yet to announce the party’s representatives.
In an interview with the Herald on 9 May, CCC’s spokesperson Advocate Fadzai Mahere said her party’s candidate selection process was done.
“Candidates have been successfully nominated and vetted for each of these seats. Stakeholders have been consulted. We are currently at the citizen caucus stage where citizens will have a say on who will be the best representative for each respective community,’’ Mahere said.
Efforts by She Corresponds Africa to get a comment from Advocate Mahere on when the party is going to announce its candidates were futile as both her and her deputy party spokesperson Ostallos Siziba phones went unanswered on numerous occasions.
MDC-T president Senator Douglas Mwonzora said: “As far as our primary elections are concerned, we started having consensus in all our constituencies and people are going to meet and decide their representatives. If need be, in a scenario where the constituency has failed to reach a consensus, the national executive of the MDC T is going to meet this weekend to announce the date for the primaries.
“But above all this process being underway, I am very certain that by the 21st of June, our house will be in order with all candidates having been selected and announced.”
Meanwhile Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party president, Linda Masarira also said her party is still in the candidate selection process.
She said the party’s candidates would be announced before the sitting of the nomination court on 21 June.
“We have been doing our due diligence in the candidate selection process, our goal is to have 50 percent representation of women in the parliaments,” Masarira said.
“Therefore, as LEAD we are taking our time in the selection process to give women enough time and opportunity for them to come on board. So, I can safely say that the election date has been proclaimed at a time that our house is now in order and most of the processes and preparations have been done.”
With exactly 15 days before the nomination court sitting, there is concern that opposition parties have given Zanu PF a huge advantage in the electoral race. Zanu PF have been on the ground campaigning since April.