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Zimbabwe Opposition Party Seeking Public Holiday on Parly By-Election Day

FILE: Residents of Epworth peep through a hole while watching a street performance a day before elections, Harare, July,30, 2013.

The opposition Transform Zimbabwe party says it is planning to approach the Constitutional Court to seek an order to compel President Robert Mugabe to declare June 10th to be declared a public holiday in order to allow workers to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections.

The party’s secretary for communications, Sungai Mazando, told VOA Studio 7 they wrote a letter to President Mugabe a week ago urging him to make this declaration but he has not yet responded to their request.

Another opposition party, the National Constitutional Assembly also weighed in, saying the president may have a hidden motive for slotting the by-elections on a Wednesday while fully aware that many people will be at work or doing some domestic chores.

There was no immediate response on this issue from the president’s office.

Mazando also added that Transform Zimbabwe is also planning to file a complaint to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission over their posters that are being allegedly vandalized by suspected Zanu PF supporters, especially in Harare.

Eight political parties and some independent candidates are expected to participate in the by-elections to fill vacant seats left vacant after the expulsion of MDC Renewal Team members from parliament.

The MDC formations have boycotted the by-elections alleging that the by-elections won’t be free and fair as the electoral field allegedly favours the ruling party.

Another two seats fell vacant following the expulsion from Zanu PF of former secretary of administration and sacked presidential affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, and former Hurungwe West lawmaker, Temba Mliswa, while Hwedza North fell vacant after the death early this year of Zanu PF Member of Parliament, Simon Musanhu.

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