HomePoliticsTwo-horse race in 2005

Two-horse race in 2005

Itai Dzamara

PARLIAMENTARY elections set for next year are likely to be a two-horse race once again as small parties remain in briefcases and may only surface at the ballot.

ce=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Shakespear Maya’s National Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG), Wilson Kumbula’s Zanu Ndonga, and Zapu led by Paul Siwela contested the 2000 parliamentary election as well as the 2002 presidential election and made no impact at all. Only Zanu Ndonga won a seat – in its traditional stronghold of Chipinge. Siwela’s party failed to make a significant impression even in Matabeleland where it claims to be based as a revival of the late Joshua Nkomo-led liberation war movement.

The ruling Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have already started in earnest campaigning for next year’s election. However, other parties appear mute.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week held rallies in Harare to launch his party’s campaign for next year’s election, whilst Zanu PF has already started its campaign in Mashonaland.

However, Kumbula and Siwela vowed that they would make an impression in next year’s election.

Kumbula this week said his party would field candidates in all constituencies across the country whilst blaming Zanu PF for creating an environment unconducive for other parties to campaign and contest elections.

“We are still existing and will indeed contest the election. The problem we have in this country is that the ruling party had created an unconducive environment,” said Kumbula. “It doesn’t help to sacrifice people’s lives by taking on Zanu PF in its game of violence. We prefer relying on media publicity as well as door to door campaigning.”

Siwela strenuously denied allegations that the current Zapu is tribal and declared that the party would seriously contest next year’s election as it views itself as the one to succeed Zanu PF.

“We are not tribal or regional. We have structures in all provinces across the country. We are, like any other citizens, proposing to offer solutions to the country’s problems,” said Siwela.

The Zapu leader, who also contested the 2002 presidential election controversially won by President Mugabe, said that his party would soon launch its campaign for next year’s election.

“We will soon announce our campaign and announce our candidates. We believe in using diplomacy and sound solutions to appeal to the electorate. Violence won’t work against Zanu PF. At the same time boycotting will only enable Zanu PF to declare itself the winner and the oppression will simply continue. We have therefore resolved to participate in nest year’s election in all constituencies.”

Maya couldn’t be reached for comment this week.

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