By-The MDC, led by Douglas Mwonzora, lost 87 parliamentary seats weeks before the election day.
This comes after Monday’s electoral court dismissed the party’s appeal against disqualification by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the 87 aspiring MPs.
In a statement, MDC said it is now only left with 24 candidates contesting in constituencies besides proportional representation. Reads the statement:
The Electoral Court Passes Judgment on MDC 87
Yesterday the electoral court dismissed the appeal by the MDC’s 87 parliamentary candidates against their disqualification by ZEC. As has become the norm with MDC cases, this case was dismissed on technicalities. The court completely avoided looking into the merits of this case.
It is a matter of record that on the night of the nomination court, the 87 candidates fulfilled all the constitutional requirements and were were successfully vetted as candidates. However, payment for their nomination fees could not be made as the election commission made it impossible for the MDC to pay citing bank challenges.
Although the commission had advised the MDC that it would accept payment by cash and via swipe, they did not avail the swiping machine to the MDC officials.
ZEC then refused the suggestion by the said officials that they make bulk payment for their candidates using bank transfer. On the 22nd of June 2023 , ZEC issued a statement extending the deadline of payment to 1730 on that day. However for reasons best known to them, ZEC still refused to accept payments from the MDC. There is no doubt that this was an act of vindictiveness, partiality and partisanship on the pan of the election management body. It constitutes gross violations of political rights as enshrined in section 67 of the Constitution.
The Elections slated for the 23rd of August 2023 are now but a complete farce and are characterised by mass exclusion of other contestants. Further, they are being held under a delimitation report that is completely illegal and was condemned by parliament.
The MDC is now only left with 24 candidates contesting in constituencies besides proportional representation. Our participation in this election is clearly under serious protest. The ZEC and government have constricted democratic space in Zimbabwe.
Despite all these deliberate setbacks, the MDC will continue with its struggle for true democracy and inclusivity. We therefore call upon our members and supporters to remain calm, peaceful, and resolute in the face of this setback. Our commitment to a free, fair, and inclusive Zimbabwe endures, and we will persist in advocating for the democratic values that form the bedrock of our nation.