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THE MDC-T has stuck to its decision to boycott elections despite criticism of the decision by US officials who warned that “if you are not a part of it (election process) at all, then it is as good as there is no opposition”.
Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party did not field a candidate for the upcoming by-election for Marondera Central constituency set for 19 September.
Four candidates successfully filed nomination papers at Marondera Magistrate Court Monday.
Zanu PF’s Lawrence Katsiru, Wadzanai Mabika of the Lovemore Madhuku-led National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Solomon Makaza of Transform Zimbabwe and Kingdom Nyika of the little known Freedom Front Party had their papers accepted by Mashonaland East Zimbabwe Electoral Commission provincial chief elections officer Collins Munetsi.
“Since more than one candidate has been duly nominated in the Marondera Central constituency, a poll shall take place on Saturday, 19th September 2015,” Munetsi told those gathered who included journalists, some of the candidates and their agents.
The opposition MDC snub paves the way for President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party to win the by-elections given the results of the June 10 by-elections held in 14 constituencies in traditional MDC-T strongholds of Harare and Bulawayo all snapped up by the ruling party.
Katsiru said he was confident of winning the seat that fell vacant following the expulsion of former Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chair Ray Kaukonde on accusations he was part of a group led by ousted vice president Joice Mujuru that was plotting to depose Mugabe.
Meanwhile, it has also been learnt that former Masvingo provincial Affairs Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti did not file nomination papers for the Mwenezi East constituency from which he was recalled by Zanu PF.
Bhasikiti was accused of the same offence as Kaukonde but has been fighting to have his case heard in the country’s courts.
His fight has however, been in vain following a Constitutional Court decision last week in which he was ordered to “form your own party” by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
A US congressman, Gregory Simpkins, a director in the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations, recently criticised Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party’s “no reforms, no elections” policy.
“We have heard that political parties here argue that it is tough to compete in elections. But we are saying they have to find a way of being effective rather than just saying it is too tough to compete.
“How can you criticize a process that you are not part of, one cannot criticize a process that they have not even taken time to test,” said Simpkins.
He added: “When you test the process, you can say we tried to register our candidates or observers were turned away; you can point to examples.
“If you are not a part of it at all then it is as good as there is no opposition.”
Simpkins was in the country as part of Washington’s efforts to normalise relations with Harare following a decade and half of diplomatic fighting over allegations of human rights abuses levelled against President Robert Mugabe’s government. source-newzimbabwe