11 journalists enter parly race

HARARE – Eleven journalists have entered the 2013 poll race, lining up to represent Zanu PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in the forthcoming polls.

The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) welcomed the entry of the scribes into the race, saying if they win, then media practitioners would have a voice in Parliament.

“At its meetings held on February 1 and 2 and on May 22, 2013, the National Council of the Union, the top decision- making body in between congresses resolved to endorse the candidatures of all participating journalists regardless of party affiliation,” Foster Dongozi, ZUJ secretary- general said.

“This was on condition they do not use violence and hate speech during their campaigns.”

Swapping the newsroom or studio for political life is not new in Zimbabwe with the likes of Information minister Webster Shamu and former legislator Kindness Paradza, both from Zanu PF, now seasoned politicians.

However, the list has been swelling in recent years as the likes of Eric Knight, Ezra Sibanda and Supa Mandiwanzira were successfully nominated last Friday.

Knight, who was based in the United Kingdom for almost 10 years, is contesting the forthcoming general elections on an MDC ticket and will tackle Zanu PF politburo member Tendai Savanhu in the volatile Mbare Constituency.

Another former disc jockey, Sibanda, is targeting the Vungu Constituency again on an MDC ticket.

Journalist Makhosini Hlongwane, Zanu PF MP for Mberengwa East, is hoping to extend his term as legislator.

Businessman and broadcaster, Mandiwanzira is eyeing Nyanga North seat where he is seeking to dislodge the MDC which has been growing in popularity in Manicaland.

Other journalists also eying parliamentary seats include Geoffrey Nyarota, who after losing the race to represent the MDC in Makoni South to Pishai Muchauraya is now standing as an independent candidate.

Seasoned journalist Grace Kwinjeh is also on the MDC line-up along with James Maridadi, who is eyeing the Mabvuku Constituency.

Former disc jockey Malaki Nkomo and Ladislus Ndoro will be representing Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections in Insiza South and Murewa West respectively.

“We...hope to work with them (journalists) if they make it into Parliament in areas that affect the welfare, safety and protection of journalists among other issues,” said Dongozi.

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