'MDC has rich menu of candidates'

HARARE - The Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC party is overwhelmed by CVs of people who want to stand on the party’s ticket as either councillors or legislators.

Nelson Chamisa, the party’s organising secretary, said his party has a “rich menu” of candidates who include lawyers, journalists, bankers, economists, the old and young.

“We have a rich menu and an excellent combination of young and dynamic, tried and tested leaders, experienced senior citizens and skilled Zimbabweans who want to be MDC candidates come elections,” said Chamisa.

The impending national election have been spiced by the emergence of youth candidates who are clamouring for a seat at high table and the Diasporans who have for over a decade financially supported the party.

However, the old guard, some of whom have been MPs for more than a decade now, is miffed by the emergence of the young Turks or  foreign-based Zimbabweans like former disc-jockey, Eric Knight.

There is also disgruntlement within the rank-and-file as some of the party activists are against the returning Diaspora who have the means to buy their way to power.

Chamisa, however, said there was no foreigner in the MDC as the party “has structures across the world and there is nothing like Diaspora, those people are Zimbabweans who have every right to stand as party candidates.”

He denied that the party was imposing candidates saying even though dates for primary elections have not been set, hundreds of people have already submitted their CVs.

“Democracy is second nature to us and we will not impose candidates,” Chamisa said.

“In fact democracy is our symbol and we are going to demonstrate that,” he said.

Millions of Zimbabweans are scattered across the world having fled political persecution and harsh economic conditions.

Both Zanu PF and the MDC have structures in some countries such as the United Kingdom and neighbouring South Africa.

People in the Diaspora also took part in the just-ended constitution-making process but sadly will not participate in the referendum as the current legislation prevents them.

The government, which has already resisted on-line voter registration and claims it does not have resources to reach out to the Diaspora.

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