THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu party has started its candidate selection process for the 2018 general elections, with officials saying the opposition party was doing so to avoid being caught flat-footed should coalition talks collapse.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zapu deputy spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa, told Southern Eye yesterday that his party remained committed to coalition talks, but had resolved to have its own team of candidates on standby to avoid disappointment, in the event of unity talks collapsing.
“While we are cognisant of the existence of the Coalition of Democrats (Code), to which we are a full member and fully committed, we, however, will continue identifying and putting in place candidates in all constituencies in case of a remote possibility it doesn’t materialise,” he said.
“However, since we fully subscribe to the notion of a coalition and are working hard for its success, Code electoral processes will be prioritised and, where possible, will supercede our party processes.”
Zapu is a member of Code, a loose grouping of opposition parties such as the MDC, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Zimbabwe Union for Democrats (Zunde) among others pushing for the formation of a united front against President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF ahead of next year’s general elections.
Under the proposed coalition, the parties hope to field a single candidate to challenge Mugabe.
Several opposition parties have committed themselves to the proposed grand coalition against Zanu PF, but the project appears headed for failure amid reports of mistrust among the leaders.
Maphosa said the opposition party is looking for financial and other resources to campaign for next year’s poll.
Zapu last year battled a financial squeeze, resulting in its failure to pay office rentals in the city centre.
“Zapu, in its preparations for 2018 elections, is in the process of identifying candidates and mobilising resources for campaigning,” Maphosa said.
“Our structures have been strengthened and stand ready for the elections, with a good number of constituencies indicating final choices on their candidates.
“We are also creating campaign teams, who will also assist in voter education considering the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will soon introduce a new biometric voter registration system.”