The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has come up with a comprehensive panel of approved parliamentary and local government candidates ready to represent the party across the length and breadth of the country for the looming general elections.
This comes as the ruling Zanu PF’s just-ended primary elections have been sullied by accusations of ballot-stuffing, multiple voting and violence — raising fears of further turmoil in looming national elections.
MDC national chairperson Morgen Komichi told a news conference at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai MDC headquarters in central Harare yesterday that rival candidates have met and reached an agreement on who to field, and where there are disagreements, there will be primary elections.
“The MDC-T is pleased to announce that it now has a comprehensive panel of approved parliamentary and local government candidates ready to represent the party across the length and breadth of the country,” Komichi said.
“Among our candidates are doctors, engineers, various professional disciplines and people of high standing who represent special interest groups in the country.”
Komichi said following the compilation of the approved candidates’ panel, the party is now undergoing the second stage of candidate selection, which is consensus-building and primary elections where necessary.
“We are undertaking a robust process that will yield popular candidates that are grounded in and popular among the people.
“The party has also undertaken to take into consideration the view of party structures and members, ordinary people in wards or constituencies, as well as the views of traditional leaders, the church, labour and other opinion makers in the communities,” he said.
“The party wants to centre its candidate selection process around the people through a procedure that begins with a process of consensus between and among the candidates themselves, with a primary elections being the last resort if the candidates fail to agree among themselves.
“We are heartened that over 3 000 people have submitted their CVs with a wish to represent the MDC-T… under the banner of the MDC-T Alliance.”
He said of the candidates who have submitted their CVs, 512 want to represent the party as parliamentary candidates while the rest wish to represent the 1 958 local government wards in the country.
“We are heartened by this growing interest in representing the party,” he said.
“In accordance with party’s roadmap, our candidate selection process will be complete by next week. As the Elections Directorate of the party, we have spent sleepless nights in the past two weeks receiving huge volumes of CVs and vetting them, handling queries and ensuring that our candidate selection process is transparent and does not invite needless divisions and rancour.
“The party will strive by all means to abide by the women’s quota and the 20 percent youth quota during this candidate selection process. We are a social democratic party and we commit to abide by our values and resolutions. Among the quotas set aside for special groups will be a specific quota for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).”
Komichi said the MDC Alliance and its presidential candidate Chamisa “will certainly win this election.”
“As a party and as an Alliance, we are poised to bring positive change in the lives of the people through our robust policy programme anchored on the tripod pillars of Transformation, Opportunities and Prosperity.
“We have a new and dynamic presidential candidate who, together with his team, will transform the country and bring positive change in the lives of the people.”
Meanwhile, Chamisa reportedly received a thunderous welcome in the United Kingdom where he took the opportunity to interact with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. Chamisa was mobbed by thousands of Zimbabweans who thronged his Bedford rally.
“UK Rally Massive & Impressive…Thank you Cdes & friends in the UK,” wrote Chamisa on Twitter.
“I am humbled by the number of Zimbabweans who attended our Bedford UK rally. The entire area was packed! Cars were all over. Parking ran out.
“When I arrived I thought there was some Man U match but alas it was just Zimbabweans yearning for a soon coming new dawn.
“The British police had to be called in to escort us out of the venue coz (sic) the people couldn’t let us leave the venue out of genuine love. People kept on demanding more!!”
Luke Tamborinyoka, MDC presidential spokesperson and director for Communications said Chamisa will meet members of the academia, key UK government officials as well as address think-tanks, among them Chatham House and the Oxford Union.-Dailynews