24 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Analysts Decry MDC-T Flaw of Democracy

The MDC-T should practice democracy it preaches by allowing its sitting legislators to be contested during primary elections, political observers have said. The party resolved during its standing

committee meeting this week that its sitting legislators would be subjected to a confirmation exercise by their respective constituencies.

Only those who would have failed to garner a two-thirds majority confirmation by their constituencies would be subjected to primary elections.

The MDC-T is holding its primary elections next month.

Political analyst Dr Charity Manyeruke yesterday said the decision by the MDC-T leadership was undemocratic and had no place in contemporary politics.

"They are tampering with the democratic processes, which the people of Zimbabwe have been fighting for. We went to fight during the liberation struggle so that every Zimbabwean is able to participate in the elections be they at primary or national level," she said.

Dr Manyeruke, who is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, said democracy started with "small process like primary elections".

"We should respect citizens' right to participate in such processes. Handpicking of candidates is no longer acceptable," she said.

Dr Manyeruke said stiff competition at primary elections helped produce better legislators for Parliament.

Another political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the imposition of sitting candidates by the MDC-T was absolutely undemocratic.

He said sitting MDC-T legislators were scarred of the intra-party primary elections as some of them might fall by the wayside.

"They have also been corrupted by power, which they see as a source of enriching themselves. The current crop of MDC-T representatives in Parliament and Government have exhibited unprecedented levels of corruption. Corruption to do with materialism and corruption to do with immorality. The imposition of candidates is therefore driven by greedy.

"This is why they do not want both inter-party and intra-party elections. It is not surprising that you see them crossing from one MDC to another in search of greener pastures," Mr Mureriwa said.

In an interview with the Herald on Thursday, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora: "It was resolved that primary elections in respect of areas where we do not have sitting MPs will be finished by December.

"Where we have sitting MPs, that person would be subjected to the structures of the party within the constituency who must confirm him or her. If confirmed by two-thirds of the structures, that person would avoid primary elections. If they fail to garner the required support they will go for primary elections."

The country is holding harmonised elections next year.

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