By Anna Chibamu
OPPOSITION MDC-T legislator Jessie Majome has confirmed she will contest the forthcoming elections as an independent candidate after withdrawing from the party’s primaries citing process irregularities.
The Harare West MP revealed the decision during a press conference in the capital Monday afternoon after a meeting with the party’s national chairperson Morgan Komichi failed to secure the guarantees she required regarding primary elections in the constituency.
“MDC-T party primary elections have literary turned into a lottery which could only be won by whoever can buy the highest number of party cards rather than who can win the hearts and minds of genuine residents of Harare West,” she said.
“The election criterion on its own is still shrouded in mystery even at this stage to such levels that even district structures who are supposed to run the election are not in full picture
“Issues such as the voters roll, the ballot papers and even the actual voting processes in terms of how they will be prepared are not clear.”
She added: “In light of these and other irregularities that I have fully noted to my party in my letter to them; including to the Vice Chairman Hon. Sen. Morgan Komichi who I met this morning, I still stand with the decision that I announced on Friday last week that I will no longer seek the MDC-Alliance ticket for Harare West Constituency.
“I therefore announce that I will be standing as stipulated in our constitution as a citizen of this country as an independent candidate for Harare West constituency to represent our voice that is if you Harare Westerners think that I can still represent you in parliament,” said Majome amid ovation from a few supporters who gathered to support her.
Asked if she had quit the MDC, Majome had this to say: “I have not quit the MDC-T
“I have simply withdrawn from vying for the ticket of MDC primaries. I am going to compete for Harare West ticket when harmonised elections come.”
The opposition party has yet to respond to her decision.
Majome said the MDC-T cannot demand that the government ensures elections expected in July are credible as well as free and fair while its internal processes are failling short of those benchmarks.
“It is on record that the party’s leadership feels that we cannot participate in an unfair election unless reforms are made,” she said.
“How then do I allow myself, and most importantly you Harare Westerners to participate in primary elections where my party is failing to promote the same fairness that we are advocating for at the national level?”
Asked whether she was not concerned that her decision would divide the MDC-T vote in the constitution for the benefit of the ruling Zanu PF party, Majome said her primary concern was the interests of her constituents.
She said she was not worried about being subjected to the backlash suffered by former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe after she decided to oppose Nelson Chamisa’s assumption of power following the death of party founder Morgan Tsvangirai.