More presidential hopefulls joins the race

HARARE – Six presidential aspirants have as of this morning submitted papers at the nomination court in Harare, setting the stage for the general elections on August 23.The nomination court is today be considering and accepting candidates for presidential, parliamentary and local authority elections.

Candidates vying for the presidency now include President Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zanu PF), Nelson Chamisa (CCC), Lovemore Madhuku (National Constituent Assembly (NCA), Trust Chikohora (Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development) Linda Masarira (LEAD) and Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T).

Prospective senators and members of parliament are also currently filing their papers at provincial capitals across the country while aspiring councillors are converging at district centres.

Meanwhile, much-publicized presidential hopeful Saviour Kasukuwere, who recently announced plans to contest as an independent candidate, is currently going through the process of officially registering his candidature as an independent.

Mnangagwa (Zanu PF) and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa on Tuesday successfully filed nomination papers ahead of today’s sitting of the nomination courts across the country.

Several other presidential candidates are expected to file their nomination papers on Wednesday.

These include exiled former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who will stand as an independent candidate, National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku and MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora, among others.

Kasukuwere and Democratic Union of Zimbabwe leader Robert Chapman are some of the surprise presidential candidates expected to enter the presidential race in the August 23 elections.

Nomination fees are pegged at U$20 000 for the presidential candidates, while prospective MPs will fork out US$1 000 to participate in the polls, with aspiring councillors and senators paying US$100.

Prospective senators and MPs will file their papers in provincial capitals.

Councillors will converge at district centres to submit their papers.

Political analysts yesterday expressed mixed feelings over Kasukuwere’s chances of successfully filing his candidature today.

“I have my grave doubts,” Eldred Masunugure said.

“It’s possible, but improbable unless a pact has been crafted between him and those at the apex of power.”

But Southern African Political Economy Series Trust director Ibbo Mandaza said he had high hopes that Kasukuwere would successfully file as a presidential candidate despite a pending warrant of arrest.

“Apparently, the warrant of arrest was mala fides and should have been put aside already,” Mandaza said.

“By the way, a candidate doesn’t have to be physically present at the nomination court. It’s the task of an election agent.”

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