By Mutsa Makuvaza
SHORTLY after President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed March 26 as the date of the Parliamentary by-elections, the opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora has announced it is going to file a court application against the elections management body.
The parliamentary by-elections are to fill seats that were left vacant through deaths and the recalling of legislators by mainly the opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora.
MDC-T information secretary, Witness Dube, said although they are ready for the by-elections, the party is seeking a court order for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the voters roll ahead of the polls.
“The MDC-T warmly welcomes Proclamation 1 of 22 by State President Emmerson Mnangangwa which states 26 March 2022 as the date of the much anticipated by elections. As a party we are resolute to contest elections as the way to democratically control State power,” said Dube in a statement.
He said while welcoming the by-elections, the electoral playing filmed remained uneven and skewed in favour of the ruling party. Among the reforms the MDC-T wants implemented before the by-elections include rapid licensing of independent media houses and equal accuses to State-owned media by all political players.
The party also wants the elections to stick to strict Covid-19 regulations so that they do not become a superspreader.
Furthermore, Dube said the party would use the MDC Alliance to contest the polls, further complicating matters for the rival opposition camp led by Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa’s group was yet to officially react to the by-election dates but there are indications that the party will have a new name before the end of January.
Rank and file members of Chamisa’s party have, however, welcomed the by-elections date hoping it would allow them to elect representatives of their choice after Mwonzora recalled the officials who they jad elected.
Zimbabwe had postponed the holding of the by-elections citing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vacant parliamentary seats are Pumula, Nkulumane, Epworth, Gokwe Central, Glen Norah, Harare Central, Highfield East, Highfield West, Kuwadzana East, Mufakose, St Marys, Kambuzuma, Harare East, Dangamvura Chikanga, Mutasa South, Marondera Central, Chivi South, Binga North, Mkoba, Mbizo, Kuwadzana, Glen View North, Marondera East, Murewa South, Mwenezi East, Tsholotsho South, Kwekwe and Mberengwa South.
President Mnangagwa did not, however, set date for the local council ward by-elections.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF communications director, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, said his party is ready for the elections. He said all party members must henceforth go and register to vote and ensure that “all by-elections are won”.
“To all Zanu PF members and supporters as well as leaders in structures, failure to register to vote is not an excuse.
“The President directed everyone to register as a voter and voter registration is a continuous process. In the first quarter of 2022, all by-elections must be won,” Mugwadi declared.