MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his party has completed a survey across the country which reveals that people are not willing to participa
te in an election that is not guaranteed to be free and fair.
In an interview last week, Tsvangirai said his party has held meetings countrywide to determine people’s expectations.
“At our meetings countrywide, people were not anxious about taking part in an election with a predetermined outcome. They said they would rather stay at home,” said Tsvangirai.
“The questions they raised were best answered by the setting up of essential institutional safeguards to attend to open electoral infringements witnessed in Zimbabwe during the past five years.”
The MDC is currently carrying out a consultative process which started off with 12 provincial committees and is now at the level of district committees, Tsvangirai said.
“A position will come out of this process and we will decide what to do in the event that Zanu PF fails to provide a conducive electoral framework,” he said.
He said the MDC would convene a conference towards election time bringing together provincial and district committees to review the situation and make a decision on the way forward.
Meanwhile, MDC spo-kesperson Paul Themba-Nyathi this week said the opposition party was almost through with the process of selecting candidates to contest next year’s polls.
“We still use the selection process that has been in place since the formation of the party. Our constitution stipulates that two thirds of members in district committees must confirm the candidature of a seating MP,” Nyathi said.
“In that event, the sitting MP is eligible to represent the party. If the incumbent MP fails to get the two thirds support, then the doors are opened for all those interested in standing in that particular constituency to mount their challenges. At that stage a sort of primary election would be held.”
Out of the 51 legislators for the MDC, 42 have been confirmed to contest next year’s elections, Nyathi said.
Five MPs will have to contest against aspiring candidates for the right to represent the MDC in their constituencies after failing to get endorsement from district committees. These are Trudy Stevenson of Harare North, Sydney Mukwecheni of Mutare North, Tichaona Munyanyi of Mbare East, Bethel Makwembere of Mkoba and Danmore Makuwaza of Mbare West.
The late Ben Tumbare-Mutasa of Seke had also failed to get endorsement. There are three constituencies in which the MDC’s district committees are yet to decide on the eligibility of incumbent MPs. These are Hwange East, Gwanda North and St Mary’s.
The MDC will also be fielding candidates in the other constituencies across the country where it failed to win or contest in the 2000 elections, Nyathi said.