INDEPENDENT candidates contesting in tomorrow’s parliamentary by-elections yesterday said they were confident of victory although they bemoaned the absence of a level playing field.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Coalition of Independent Candidates spokesperson Farai Kuveya expressed concern over the alleged defacing of their campaign posters, intimidation of their supporters by ruling Zanu PF members and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s failure to stop incidents of vote buying.
“The atmosphere is generally peaceful although incidents of violence have been reported in some constituencies, one case in point being the attempted abduction of Pedzisai Nheta, the candidate for Kambuzuma,” Kuveya who is contesting in Harare East constituency, said.
“Our posters are being pulled down and defaced by ruling Zanu PF party supporters and that is against the elections code of conduct as enshrined in the country’s electoral laws.
“We have also witnessed incidents of vote buying by Zanu PF which is distributing rice at its political rallies which again goes against the electoral laws which forbid the bribing of voters to vote in a particular manner.”
Kuveya added: “We are, however, worried by Zec’s reluctance to make it clear whether or not voter registration slips will be accepted on voting day, nowhere in the Electoral Act are these slips stated as permissible proof of registration that can be used for voting and in the interest of fairness and for us to have credible elections, no slips should be accepted.”
He also bemoaned partisan coverage by State media which has reportedly preferred covering Zanu PF candidates alone without giving all the contestants equal coverage. The independent candidates also expressed concern over a mid-week day poll claiming many workers will not have a chance to participate.
Kuveya also said: “These elections are a chance that has been afforded to the electorate to say no to the corruption and mis-governance of Zanu PF. We need more than ever before to unite as all Zimbabweans and say no to Zanu PF and give our future generations a hope for better days to come.
“We are offering a selfless breed of young politicians that will put the people first in all programmes, projects and activities. We want a leadership that will never be silent on issues of corruption and lack of accountability by public officials. A leadership that will promote respect for human and civil rights of all citizens regardless of tribe, gender, age, colour or creed.”
Other members of the coalition include Endai Mugomeza (Kuwadzana), Tonderai Herman Karimakwenda (Dzivaresekwa), Donald Chimatira (Glen View South), Tafadzwa Dzumbunu (Highfield), Onismos Zhavairo (Mbizo), Albert Mhlanga (Pumula), Njabuliso Mguni (Lobengula) and Sibangilizwe Msipa (Makokoba).