The Mashonaland East province of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has refuted allegations it dumped the opposition MDC Alliance to field its own candidates in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
Former Marondera Mayor Farai Nyandoro told NewZimbabwe.com that the party was still in the Alliance but readying itself to ensure that they were not caught unawares in the event some coalition candidates failed at the nomination court.
Nyandoro also dismissed as false claims that he had been nominated by the province to stand as a PDP candidate, adding he was still a staunch supporter of the MDC Alliance.
The opposition politician was responding to reports that the PDP had resolved to field its own candidates in both parliamentary and local government elections scheduled for between July 22 and August 22.
Activists in the Tendai Biti-led party were reportedly disgruntled after their preferred candidates were allegedly side-lined by the alliance.
However, Nyandoro said the media reports were inaccurate and out of context, saying the party had resolved back in 2017 to have candidates ready in case of unseen circumstances.
“We want to ensure that we have 210 parliamentary candidates ready in case of emergency so that should the MDC Alliance candidates are denied at the nomination court, we will not give Zanu PF the opportunity to run uncontested.”
Nyandoro said the party had also identified 1,958 potential candidates who would stand in in areas that would have run into problems.
He said that is why PDP had last July unveiled 210 candidates despite the fact that it was in Alliance negotiations.
The MDC Alliance is a coalition bringing together seven opposition parties to contest the ruling party and other smaller parties in July’s harmonised elections.
The parties have since agreed on a candidate sharing formula, with the PDP contesting 14 parliamentary seats under the Alliance banner.