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Retired Army Generals, Thousands of Other People Enter Zimbabwe Election Race

FILE - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe meets with Father Fidelis Mukonori, Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and Defense Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga at State House in Harare, Nov. 19, 2017.

Thousands of potential candidates have submitted their names to various political parties indicating that they want to contest council, parliamentary and senatorial elections set to be held within the next few months in Zimbabwe.

They include Retired General Constantino Chiwenga, Retired Brigadier General Sibusiso Moyo and several others, who are believed to have masterminded the downfall of 94 year-old former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe last November.

Some people believed to be linked to the ousted Zanu PF faction commonly known as Generation 40, which once backed former First Lady Grace Mugabe as a potential successor to her husband, have been left out of the electoral process in the ruling party.

They claim that a faction of the party said to be led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sidelined all those linked to Mrs. Mugabe and Robert Mugabe. The two are linked to the National Patriotic Front, which was allegedly formed by ousted Generation 40 members.

Mugabe has distanced himself from the party led by Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri.

Despite the exclusion of some Zanu PF activists from contesting the polls, ruling party member Believe Gaule says “everyone is allowed to contest a seat of his choice in Zanu PF. People will choose a person of their choice, nothing else.”

On the other hand, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa has also witnessed a lot of interest of thousands of people who want to participate in the general elections as candidates in council, parliamentary and senatorial polls.

The other faction of the party led by Thokozani Khupe, which is preparing for its congress, says hundreds of people also want to take part in the candidate selection process as contestants.

“We will engage in this process as soon as we hold our congress sometime this month,” said Witness Dube, who is Khupe’s adviser.

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