WE congratulate all candidates who successfully filed their nomination papers yesterday to stand in the July 30 harmonised elections.
To those who did not make it, better luck next time.
The nationwide nomination process, held in line with Chapter 7 of the Constitution on Electoral Systems and Processes, testified to the efficacy of our democracy given the sheer, record number of aspirants, and also spoke to ZEC’s ability to conduct a professionally-run, free, fair and credible poll.
It was also a good dry run for various stakeholders: the Zimbabwe Republic Police, sections of the media and the public.
The Nomination Court yesterday received credentials from aspiring candidates for the Presidential, National Assembly, Senate, Women’s Quota and Provincial Council members.
Yesterday’s sittings will be remembered for the record number of candidates contesting the presidency, the number of political parties fielding candidates and the high number of aspirants contesting as independent candidates. Interesting times lie ahead.
By midday yesterday, six presidential aspirants had successfully filed their papers.
These included President Mnangagwa, the Zanu-PF presidential candidate whose papers were filed by his election agent, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The others were MDC Alliance candidate Nelson Chamisa whose papers were filed by his election agent Jameson Timba; Noah Manyika of Build Zimbabwe Alliance; Violet Mariyacha (United Democratic Movement); Joice Mujuru (People’s Rainbow Coalition) and Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T.
Proportional Representation legislator for Matabeleland South Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga filed Khupe’s papers.
One aspirant was disqualified.
The unprecedented turnout was a feather in the cap for ZEC as it demonstrated that the elections management body has all along been working hand-in-glove with stakeholders, providing them with relevant information, including the code of ethics for them to register.
Reports pointed to an efficiently and professionally-run process, although there were a few glitches in some areas, that were attended to.
ZEC should be commended for asking aspiring candidates to submit their forms and attachments days before nomination day, so that they could be verified and where errors are detected, they get to be rectified in time.
This, including the decentralisation of the nomination process made it easier for candidates who had heeded ZEC’s calls.
After the nomination, it is now all systems go as political parties and independent candidates go on the ground to sell their message to the electorate.
If aspiring candidates have all along been taking this exercise for granted by selling pies in the skies, the coming weeks are a major test because potential voters want to hear messages about bread and butter issues.
We expect to see and hear candidates presenting real and practical messages with solutions to the myriad of challenges the country is facing, the economy in particular. No more grandstanding and play-acting.
ZEC, which is an independent body has a lot of work on its hands. We therefore hope that political parties will not distract it from its core mandate in a bid to create self-fulfilling prophecies in the event of defeat. We are not saying that if there are issues they should be swept under the carpet. They can still be attended to, without interfering with the independence of ZEC.
We also call upon ZEC to put its communication systems into full use so that all stakeholders know what is going on, instead of waiting for complaints.
After yesterday’s nominations, we are confident that conducting peaceful, free, fair and credible elections on July 30 is not only feasible, but doable, for it is in our interest as a country, in order to consolidate the benefits from Operation Restore Legacy.