MDC candidates threaten pullout

More than ten candidates from the Welshman Ncube led Movement for Democratic Change from Mashonaland East are reportedly contemplating pulling out of the election race under the party ticket and running as independents.

The candidates, who accused their party of neglecting them at ‘the last hour financially’ allege that their party had not offered any candidate financial assistance despite the party getting funding for elections from government.

Zimbabwe’s Political Parties Finance Act provides for funding of political parties by the state, provided that the party garners five percent of the vote in election.

In his 2013 National Budget presentation, Finance minister, Tendai Biti allocated $5 million towards financing political parties as stipulated by the law.

Concerns have been raised by various political parties that the government through the finance ministry failed to avail the money to the political parties on time to ensure that the parties have the capacity to campaign effectively in the forthcoming elections.

One of the candidates vying for a parliamentary seat under the MDC ticket, said 11 candidates had indicated that they are going to withdraw their candidature as party representatives and stand as independents because they were not getting any assistance from their party.

He said: “It is disheartening because other political parties have been holding rallies and posters of their candidates are strewn all over Mashonaland East.

“We are not visible and already the special vote has been cast without us campaigning in our constituencies.”

He lamented an unequal playing field and said in Zimbabwe, the rich have an upper hand in politics.

Another candidate who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that the party was failing to fulfil its promises on time and this had the potential to cost the party several seats, not only in Mashonaland East but countrywide.

“We only have 16 days until election day and we have not even put up our campaign posters. We have been told to finance the campaign on our own. It is as good as being independent candidates,” he said.

MDC Spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi confirmed that his party had not yet availed money to the party’s candidates.

Chihwayi attributed this to the election date which he said was an ambuish not only for his party but for all progressive Zimbabweans.

“It is not correct that we dumped our candidates and we are not going to assist them with money to boost their campaign strategies.

“We acknowledge that the assistance is a bit late but the party is working flat out to ensure that everyone gets the assistance that they deserve so that the party wins the majority of seats countrywide,” said Chihwayi.

He said the party had not received any complaints relating to the late disbursement of financial assistance.

“Our team is currently on the ground and in no time, everyone is guaranteed that they are going to receive their allocation of funding and material to boost the party’s campaign. The party are the people so we will ensure that all our representatives are assisted in every way possible to save the people of Zimbabwe from the merciless jaws of ruthless leaders,” he said.

MDC President, Welshman Ncube last week revealed that the party had availed 203 candidates countrywide to stand for election under the party’s ticket in the forthcoming elections.

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