Zim independents form coalition against Mugabe's Zanu-PF

2015-06-04 22:07
Joice Mujuru. (File: AFP)

Joice Mujuru. (File: AFP)

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Harare - A group of Zimbabwean independent candidates participating in upcoming parliamentary by-elections have formed a coalition to take President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party head-on.

Zimbabwe will on June 10 hold 17 parliamentary by-elections, dubbed "mini-general elections”, following the expulsion of 21 opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) MPs who had crossed the floor to form the break-away MDC Renewal team.

Zanu-PF has fielded candidates in all constituencies, but the opposition MDC is boycotting by-elections, protesting over an unlevel playing field which it says favours the ruling party.

However, independent candidates aligned to expelled Zimbabwean vice president Joice Mujuru and those aligned to the MDC have now announced a coalition.

“We are candidates from different political backgrounds brought together by common values, belief systems and common goals standing for people first, economic transformation, broad-based empowerment, electoral reforms, respect for human and civil rights, service delivery and zero tolerance,” Harare East constituency candidate, Farai Kuvheya, told  journalists in Harare on Thursday.

Kuvheya said the independents were being harassed by Zanu-PF supporters during their campaign meetings and that there had been several attempts by state agents to abduct some candidates.

“We are unable to hold public rallies as the culture of violence and intimidation has characterised all past polls and, as we speak, there have been several attempts to abduct one independent candidate, Pedzisai Nheta, of Kambuzuma constituency in Harare,” said Kuvheya.

The majority of the vacant parliamentary seats are in Harare and Bulawayo which are also opposition strongholds.

The independents also encouraged Mujuru to stand up against Mugabe, who it says continues to harass her after expulsion from government last year.

Mujuru was fired, together with 16 ministers and several other top Zanu-PF officials, last year over allegations of plotting to kill Mugabe. The group has since launched the People First movement also known as the Original Zanu PF.

Last week, Mujuru openly told Mugabe that she could never be expelled from the “genuine” Original Zanu PF, while also openly querying for the first time the mysterious death of her husband, General Solomon Mujuru, whose remains were found after a fire at their Beatrice farm in 2011.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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