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MDC Alliance tightens bolts on rebels

by A Mhlongo
25 Jun 2018 at 09:20hrs | Views
The MDC Alliance, the biggest opposition party in the country is working 24 hours to persuade rebel candidates who filed nomination papers against party decision to withdraw from the race before this week's Wednesday deadline.

MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said that the Alliance has intensified negotiations with candidates to ensure that those who were not endorsed by the party withdraw. He said the electoral laws allows candidates to withdraw their nomination within seven days of the sitting of the nomination court which meant yesterday (Wednesday).

In Masvingo, there are seven constituencies out of 26 that have two MDC Alliance candidates each. The constituencies and wards also have hordes of opposition candidates and Chiredzi West for example has 10 opposition and independent candidates. The opposition and independents have fielded a total of 115 candidates in Masvingo's 26 constituencies making an average of five candidates per constituency.

Masvingo MDC T provincial chairman James Gumbi said four of the seven candidates have been successfully persuaded and they had withdrawn by Tuesday this week and this means that the party now remains with just three constituencies that have two candidates.

Those who have agreed to be dropped are from Bikita East Chengedzeni Jacob Satiya leaving Bonface Mudzingwa to fight it out with Johnson Madhuku of Zanu PF and Ernest Rambe of the NCA Party.

In Gutu West Stanley Manguma of the MDC Alliance will battle it out against Tauya Chinama of PRC and John Paradza of Zanu PF after Knowledge Mupini withdrew from the race.

Enerst Mandigo of the Alliance has given way to Crispen Musoni to tussle it out against Pias Rugwaro of MDC T led by Thokozani Khupe, ShillahBikoloni of Build Zimbabwe Party, Last Mafuratidze of PRC led by Joice Mujuru and Mines Minister Winston Chitando of Zanu PF on July 30.

In Zaka West Dr William Zivenge gave way to Festus Dumbu to contest against Peter Mahlekete of PRC, Elvis Mugari of the National Patriotic Front which is aligned to President Mugabe, Happyson Jasi of ZIPP and OphiasMurambiwa of Zanu PF.

"We are working round the clock to ensure that we field one candidate per constituency and I am happy that four have heeded our plea and we are left with three.

"Some are actually discussing between themselves and coming up with a solution without our intervention.

"In the council elections we only have Ward 2 in Chiredzi West where there are two candidates from the Alliance and we are also persuading one of them to withdraw," said Gumbi.

 MDC Alliance Midlands spokesperson Munyaradzi Mutandavari said that those who lost the primaries filed as independent candidates a situation which he said is unfortunate as that would divide the votes.

In Chiundura, Blessing Murondiwa filed as an independent candidate against the party's directive together with Livingstone Chiminya in Shurugwi South and Lawrence Ndlovu in Vungu Constituency.

Mash East provincial chairman, Piniel Dengu said all went well except for Marondera Urban ward 10 where there are two candidates from the Alliance.

In Manicaland Province the chairman, David Chimhini said all those who filed as independent candidates must withdraw by end of day today or consider themselves expelled from the party.

Mat South chairman, Mqabuko Nkomo said they have no constituency with two candidates only that they failed to field a candidate in Insiza North which was automatically won by Zanu PF.

Mwonzora said that they are withdrawing some candidates so that they remain with one per constituency.

"We have seven days after the nomination court to withdraw candidates and I believe by then we will be through with the exercise," said Mwonzora on the phone.

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