NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe politicians face complex pre-election challenge


Posted on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 14:27

Zimbabwe politicians face complex pre-election challenge

By Janet Shoko

Zimbabwe has slipped into election mode and parties are now moving to select candidates in primary elections.


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party called for prospective legislators to send in their resumes by the end of last January, but there's been an overwhelming response, with 5,000 people declaring their interests.

This leaves the party's elections directorate with a burden of sifting through the applications, before calling for internal elections.

The MDC came up with a complicated process for primary elections, where sitting legislators are required to receive a two thirds endorsement within their constituencies, failure to which they will have to have primaries.

But critics claim this is divisive and meant to protect sitting parliamentarians from aspiring candidates.

Already there are allegations that CVs for candidates challenging National Housing Minister, Giles Mutsekwa were last week found dumped in a river in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe.

The official explanation is that the papers vanished on transit to Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.

Mutsekwa, like several top ranking officials including cabinet ministers, faces a stiff challenge from Young Turks.

The minister's five rivals have since re-submitted their applications.

Party provincial treasurer and affected aspiring candidate Brian James confirmed the developments.

"The matter is before the higher offices within the party and an investigation has since started.

"We are all waiting for the completion of the probe so that we can get a clear picture of how nomination papers that were submitted by aspiring candidates ended up failing to get to the desired destination."

James said he had to re-submit his CVs to contest both mayoral elections and as an MP.

President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF, on the other hand, is on Wednesday expected to hold a special politburo meeting to decide on the criteria to be used for primary elections.

Another faction of the MDC, led by Industry and Commerce minister, Welshman Ncube said it was in the process of a "rigorous verification" exercise for its aspiring legislators.

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