ASPIRING independent candidates in the forthcoming general election have set up a forum arguing that they were being left out of electoral processes involving political parties’ representatives and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
They are arguing that for free and fair elections to be held, there has to be an acknowledgement and fair representation of all stakeholders.
They have also agreed to proffer each other solidarity during campaigns.
The Independent candidates are expected to handover their petition to ZEC with their list of demands and are also requesting minutes from all other meetings that were held without them.
Latest information from ZEC says at least 107 political parties including a new outfit, National Patriot Front (NPF) linked to former president Robert Mugabe, are expected to contest in the forthcoming general election.
In an interview in Harare recently, convener of the independent candidates’ forum, Linda Masarira who is contesting in the Harare Central constituency, said about 15 of them attended their first meeting.
“We set up an Independent Candidates Solidarity Forum (ICSF) which will send representatives to all electoral processes meetings as we are also key stakeholders in 2018 elections,” said Masarira.
“Upon the realising our exclusion from meetings held by ZEC and other stakeholders, for example political parties, we have decided to engage ZEC as we are also key stakeholders in the 2018 elections.”
She added, “We have been missing all these meetings that are setting up structures and guidelines concerning the national political processes in the country.”
Linda also said they were in the process of inviting all Independent candidates to their forum.