By Bulawayo Correspondent
NINE candidates on Friday successfully filed their nomination papers for the Lupane East National Assembly by-election which will be held on 3 August.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Zanu PF MP, Sithembile Gumbo in April this year.
The Nomination Court sat at Western Commonage Magistrates Courts in Bulawayo and gave the nine candidates the green light to contest the by-election.
Mbongeni Dube will represent Zanu PF, while Dalumuzi Khumalo will represent the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa.
The Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T has also fielded a candidate along with a host of other smaller parties.
Two of the contesting candidates, Morgan Ndlovu of the Labour Economists and African Democrats Party (LEAD) and Andrew Magodla Tshaba of the Mthwakazi Republic party lodged their applications prior to the sitting of the Nomination Court.
One aspiring candidate, Thomas Sibanda of the United African National Council (UANC) had his application rejected because he could not raise the required nomination fee.
MDC national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo expressed confidence that her party will win the by-election.
“This time around, we are going to win this by-election. Remember, we won resoundingly in Lupane in 2000. People are suffering because of Zanu PF’s misrule. There is no way people of Lupane will vote for Zanu PF this time around,” said Khumalo.
Zapu, which fielded a candidate, Gezekile Mkwebu also expressed hope that it will wrestle the seat from the ruling party.
“We want to honour our late president Dumiso Dabengwa by winning the Lupane by-election. This time we have fielded a strong candidate and we are ready for the by-election,” said Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo could not be reached for comment.
During last year‘s harmonised elections, 12 candidates contested for the constituency.
Of the 12, six were nominated for the by-election.