By Blessings Mashaya
The main MDC formation has expelled members who defied the party’s directive by filing their papers at the Nomination Court to stand as independent candidates in the forthcoming polls slated for July 30.
The defiant members had been given up to June 22 to withdraw their candidature.
MDC chairperson Morgen Komichi told the Daily News on Monday that the party had been left with no other option but to revert to its constitution, which states that any member who decides to stand as an independent candidate would have automatically expelled themselves from the party.
“We gave them room to withdraw their papers and they failed to do so; this means that they are automatically expelled from the party,” he said.
“I think we expelled around 25 members. The number includes those who also defected to our former vice president Thokozani Khupe and filed their papers under her party.
“Our members must respect the party constitution and by filing papers as independent candidates, (this) shows that they do not respect the party constitution. Everyone must know that we cannot all be winners. There are a lot of positions in both party and government if we win in the forthcoming elections so there is need to work for the party and all Zimbabweans will benefit at the end.”
Some of the candidates who were expelled include, long-serving Member of Parliament for Harare West, Jessie Majome, Zengeza West MP Simon Chidhakwa, Blessing Muronziwa who is vying for Chiwundura Constituency and Asani Tembo who filed as an independent candidate for Chitungwiza North.
The MDC’s primaries attracted widespread criticism from disgruntled party members and losing candidates, who accused their leaders of abandoning democratic processes.
The disgruntled members who lost in the party’s chaotic internal elections went on to successfully file papers at the Nomination Court to contest the forthcoming harmonised polls as independents.
Meanwhile, at least 874 aspiring candidates successfully filed their papers with the Nomination Court on November 14, as independent candidates in the forthcoming harmonised elections slated for July 30.
This is one of the highest figures of independent candidates in the history of the country’s elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) released the full list of the candidates yesterday through a public notice.
Most individuals went independent after they were disgruntled by the outcome of the primary elections within their parties.
There were disgruntled individuals, both in the country’s biggest political outfits — the ruling Zanu PF party and the MDC Alliance — who opted to go independent owing to their failure to get a chance to represent their respective parties.
The primary polls were marred by allegations of vote rigging and the imposition of candidates, which resulted in some deciding to go independent.
A number of Zanu PF MPs and Cabinet ministers lost in the ruling party’s primaries, forcing them to also push their campaigns as independent candidates.
A variety of malpractices unravelled during the Zanu PF emotive polls, among them inordinate delays in supplying voting material to polling centres, vote rigging and violence, which forced the party to sanction re-runs in 14 constituencies.
Zimbabwe has several political parties, many of which did not field candidates in the forthcoming elections.
Out of over 120 political parties, only a few of the candidates from these parties managed to file their papers.
Some of the parties with representatives that will contest in the local government elections include the MDC Alliance, a coalition of seven political parties, Zanu PF, National Patriotic Front, Build Zimbabwe Alliance and People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC).
While more parties have been represented in parliamentary and local government seats, 23 individuals have turned up for the presidential race, where one of the contestants Taurai Bryn Mteki is an independent.
He will battle it out with the likes of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, PRC leader Joice Mujuru and Nkosana Moyo from Alliance for People’s Agenda. DailyNews