1 February 2013

Zimbabwe: MDC Scouts for Candidates

AS elections loom after the principals compromised on the contentious draft constitution, the MDC led by Welshman Ncube has started scouting for potential candidates to represent the party.

The party is inviting applications from aspiring councillors, MPs and senators by February 14.

The MDC, which won 10 House of Assembly seats and six senate seats in the 2008 polls, would only have primary elections in constituencies with more than one aspiring legislator.

Unlike the MDC-T and Zanu PF, the MDC has minimal cases of jostling for seats as party members seem to agree on candidates.

Sources said jostling was only expected in Bulawayo East where provincial vice-chairman and Ward 4 councillor Paul Malaba and 2008 losing candidate, Jasmine Tofa, who is the provincial treasurer, are set to battle it out.

Bulawayo East constituency is a political hotbed even for the MDC-T where MP Thabitha Khumalo is fiercely fighting to retain her parliamentary seat amid reports that the MDC-T leadership wants to replace her with former United Kingdom-based academic Mandla Nyathi, now a National University of Science and Technology lecturer.

MDC research and policy director Qhubani Moyo has publicly declared that he will contest for the Bulawayo Central seat currently held by Dorcas Sibanda of the MDC-T.

Thabile Ndlovu is vigorously campaigning to unseat Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe in Makokoba where over 100 MDC-T supporters allegedly crossed the floor to join the Ncube-led MDC last year.

The MDC is set to field candidates in all 210 House of Assembly seats countrywide, quashing claims that the party was a Matabeleland-based organisation.

MDC sources said out of 26 constituencies in Masvingo, about 23 aspiring MPs had already shown interest while aspiring candidates in Mashonaland, Manicaland and the Midlands are busy submitting their applications.

MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has written to provinces instructing them to submit names for prospective presidential candidates although indications are that Ncube is likely to be unanimously nominated.

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