By Staff Reporter
PROFESSOR Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA says it only managed to field 72 candidates to contest for the national assembly seats this July with the rest blocked from filing their papers during nomination last month by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The lower house has 210 contested seats up for grabs.
But in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com this week, party spokesperson Madock Chivasa blamed ZEC for “deliberately” denying aspiring party MPs access to the voters’ roll.
Chivasa, who is NCA aspiring MP for Bikita West MP, said most of their candidates were turned away at the nomination courts after the names of those who were supposed to nominate them failed to find their names in the voters’ roll.
“Out of the 210 house of assembly representatives we had lined up for the election, only 72 managed to have their papers accepted by the nomination court; the rest had their papers rejected,” said Chivasa.
“On councillors, out of the 1958, only 534 had their papers accepted by ZEC on the nomination court day.
“The issues were the same and were that of the non-availability of names of the candidates’ nominators in the voters’ roll and this was problematic not only to us but to several other political parties,” he said.
NCA is on record as criticising other opposition political parties which have complained about ZEC’s alleged lack of impartiality.
“We are the only political party just after the proclamation of the election date by the President who were saying that ZEC should produce the voters’ roll and we took the election management body to the courts over that issue,” said Chivasa after asked why now they were now joining other political parties which they always condemned for denouncing ZEC.
“What we have been saying as NCA is that if ZEC is not conducting themselves professionally, we must be clear as political parties on what issues ZEC would be erring not just denigrating them without facts and that to us would be tantamount to compromising its independence.
“But in this case, it’s clear that ZEC short-changed political parties and candidates because they did not provide the voters’ roll before the nomination court day, hence these problems which we faced,” he said.
Chivasa said the provision of the voters roll before the sitting of the nomination court was one of the genuine reforms which parties should have been advocating for.