WASHINGTON DC —
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change national executive and national council met in Harare on Wednesday and approved 1,000 candidates to contest in the party’s primary elections expected any time this month.
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said approved candidates include former Zanu-PF member Tracey Mutinhiri, former Daily News editor Geoffrey Nyarota, journalist Grace Kwinjeh and radio disc-jockeys Eric Knight and Ezra Sibanda.
Others are former Members of Parliament Abednico Bhebhe, Norman Mpofu and Njabuliso Mguni, who were fired from the MDC formation of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.
The criteria used for choosing candidates has been a contentious issue not only in the MDC-T, but also in Zanu-PF, where sources say the party has already come up with some requirements, including having five Ordinary Level passes.
Zanu0PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 they are still fine-tuning the requirements and promised to make them public as soon as they are done.
Some critics have accused both parties of trying to protect sitting lawmakers at the expense of other aspiring candidates.
Not all applications were approved. Mr. Mwonzora said about 200 applicants were turned down because they were not in the party for five or more years as required.
Mwonzora said the committees also discussed other issues that include the just held constitutional referendum, the continued harassment of civil society organisations and the general elections.