ZEC releases roadmap as parties prepare for polls

Political parties have declared readiness to contest in the March by-elections after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) released a roadmap that will see vacancies in the national assembly and local authorities being filled.

The roadmap follows the proclamation of the by-election date by President Mnangagwa early this month. As part of the roadmap, voter education has been carried out while the pre-nomination court has also been constituted.

Presently, there is an ongoing accreditation of observers and media which began on Monday.

Printing of ballot papers, publication of polling stations, and nomination court results will be done next month, with the actual election date set for March 26 and announcement of results scheduled for the day after.

In separate interviews yesterday political parties declared readiness to challenge for seats that became vacant either by deaths or recall of members especially from the troubled opposition parties in the country.

In an interview, Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat Cde Mike Bimha said the battle-hardened ruling party which has won elections since 1980 is more than ready for the polls.

“We have been busy with our internal elections, identifying people to field in certain positions and what I can say is that our people are ready for the elections. We are ready any time. We had the road map for the party and as has always been the case the party is always ready for the polls whenever we are required to go for election,” said Cde Bimha.

Leader of the Labour, Economists, and African Democrats (LEAD) Ms Linda Masarira said they will be participating in the polls to gauge their popularity ahead of next year’s general elections.

“As LEAD we are ready for elections. It has been our wish which unfortunately we cannot fulfil to field candidates for all the vacant seats and wards . . . as a baby party which is only two years old, which still has a lot of financial constraints, we have just decided to campaign and participate in the by-elections in areas where we are strong where we know we can actually win the parliamentary and ward seats that we are campaigning for. As such we are not going to be participating for all the vacant seats that are there,” said Ms Masarira.

Factions from the MDC also said they are ready for the polls.

The spokesperson of the main opposition party, the MDC led by Mr Douglas Mwonzora said they are ready for the polls.

“As a party we are ready for elections because we have intact structures, a party name and candidates,” said Mr Lloyd Damba, the MDC spokesperson.

Another splinter from the MDC which launched this week, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) will also be contesting in the by-elections.

Its founding leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, told a press conference on Monday that his little-known party will also be contesting in the by-elections.

“Yes, the by-elections will come, but as I said, it will be a curtain-raiser. It is very important to participate and that is why we said we are participating. We will make sure we also see what is happening to test our systems, and we also expose those who are biased,” said Mr Chamisa. Herald.

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