The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has failed to get candidates to represent it in four constituencies in Masvingo in national elections expected to be called sometime this year.
The party has since waived stringent requirements and re-opened applications in the respective constituencies.
Chiredzi South, Chiredzi North, Mwenezi East and Mwenezi West have been tough battlegrounds for the MDC-T in Masvingo. The party has struggled in the past to garner enough support in these areas.
After the completion of its candidate selection process for primary elections, the MDC-T failed to come up with candidates who met set down requirements to represent it in the forthcoming elections.
So in an effort to find people who can stand on the party’s ticket in the four constituencies, the party has had to scrap some of its strict requirements so it can have representation in the crucial polls. Aspiring candidates are being invited to file their applications with the party.
The party’s Masvingo provincial spokesman Harrison Mudzuri confirmed these developments saying fresh applications have already flooded the party offices.
Some MDC-T supporters in Chiredzi North said they were not free to campaign for the party in the area because of intimidation and harassment from traditional chiefs and Zanu PF activists.
Chiredzi North supporter Jairos Mutubu said the situation in the area is so bad that it is difficult to mobilize locals for MDC-T activities.
But Mudzuri, who is also the MDC-T legislator for Zaka Central, said the political situation in Masvingo is manageable despite what he called demons of violence and intimidation from Zanu PF activists.
Mudzuri said no amount of violence in the province will deter his party from campaigning for Mr. Tsvangirai to become Zimbabwe’s next president.
The four constituencies have always Zanu PF strongholds. During the 2008 harmonised election President Robert Mugabe garnered 18,000 votes in Chiredzi South alone while the MDC-T got a paltry 2,000 votes.