Fired MPs to contest polls

MDC-Renewal will not bar any of its members keen on contesting the forthcoming June by-elections as independents, but the party will not assist them in campaigning.

Chief Reporter

The opposition party said it was within the members’ democratic rights to contest any election.

MDC-Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the party was boycotting the polls describing them as “the most useless and pointless election in the history of Zimbabwe”.

“The party decision for now is we are not taking part in the by-elections,” he said.

“We strongly feel that they are the most useless and pointless election in the history of Zimbabwe.

“The Speaker (of Parliament Jacob Mudenda) was overzealous in declaring the seats vacant.

“He acted illegally and action should be taken against him.”

Mafume said the resources to be channelled towards the by-elections should instead be used to procure food and stockfeed to avert the looming hunger.

“We cannot be seen engaging in a meaningless contest for the sake of proving who is popular when citizens are starving, that is immoral,” he said.

President Robert Mugabe has declared 14 constituencies vacant countrywide and has ordered by-elections to be held on June 10.

Of the 14, five are in Bulawayo.

The nomination courts will sit on April 16 at Tredgold Magistrates’ Court building.

Zanu PF has since invited members interested in contesting the 14 constituency seats to submit their CVs by today as preparation for the polls heats up.

Zanu PF has not won a single seat in Bulawayo since 2000 and if opposition parties boycott the polls, the ruling party will score a first.

Asked on whether they would bar any member from contesting, Mafume said that would be undemocratic.

“Anyone is free to contest, but we won’t offer any support during campaigns,” he said.

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