MDC candidates deadline today Mr Mwonzora

Peter Matika Bulawayo Bureau

THE MDC led by Mr Douglas Mwonzora on Wednesday set yesterday as the deadline for aspiring candidates to submit their applications to represent the party in the August 23 harmonised elections.

Sources said the decision by the opposition party was met with grumblings from some “former” party members who accused Mr Mwonzora of trying to impose candidates.

“This is all just a ploy for power. We shall see where the road leads him. This is just a hasty decision and his conduct is questionable,” said a source. Mr Mwonzora said in constituencies where the party would have more than one candidate contesting for the same seat, the party would then hold primary elections to identify a suitable candidate.

He also said the party is also working on its manifesto, which will be launched in due course.

“The message is the same. We are vouching for free education, health care services, free maternity, interest free loans for small business and subsidisation of inputs,” said Mr Mwonzora.

He said while the primary elections would be held, they will only be confined to party members. The MDC leader said the party is in the process of finalising its selection process hence the announcement of the deadline.

“Prospective candidates applied to the party expressing their interest to run and that if there were more than one candidate, there were two steps to choose one. In a case where there are two candidates, we will hold a process for them to decide who will contest for their prospective seat,” said Mr Mwonzora.

He said if involved parties failed to reach an agreement they would hold primary elections.

“Members of Parliament in our constituencies remained unopposed. Candidates had submitted their forms and paperwork to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,” said Mr Mwonzora.

Meanwhile, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Members of Parliament and councillors in Bulawayo who were not recalled had a shock of their lives yesterday when their names were missing on the hastily-arranged candidates list from a stakeholders’ selection process last week.

Names such as that of Njube-Lobengula MP and party benefactor Gift Banda, sitting Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni and his deputy, Councillor Mlandu Ncube were missing.

Surviving councillors include Arnold Batsirai, Tawanda Ruzive, Felix Mhaka and Sikhululekile Moyo.

Sitting MPs and councillors who will represent the party again include Mr Kucaca Phulu (Nkulumane), Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula), Clr Donaldson Mabuto, Clr Lilian Mlilo, Clr Concilia Mlalazi, Clr Ernest Rafamoyo and Clr Tinevimbo Maphosa. Councillors Edwin Ndlovu, Christopher Dube and Mpumelelo Moyo will also get another chance to represent the party in the elections.

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