Kwekwe Central Constituency by-election to be held before December 5

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OWEN MATAVA in Kwekwe

It is now game on in Kwekwe Central Constituency as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced it has officially lifted the ban on holding of elections and or by-elections in the country, midlands news can report.

The electoral commission had in March this year suspended all elections due to Covid-19.

Zec chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba announced the latest development Monday when she appeared before a parliamentary committee in Harare.

The committee quizzed Chigumba about ZEC’s administrative capacity, pace of electoral reforms and their Covid-19 policy on election activities.

Several by-elections are due following the death of incumbents and the recalling of half-a-dozen MDC Alliance MPs and councillors by the rival MDC-T party led by Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora.

Chigumba said political activities would resume on October 7 with the Nomination Court set to sit on October 9.

Zec chairperson said they would take steps to protect voters from contracting the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness Covid-19. The virus has killed at least 218 people from over 7,300 infections in Zimbabwe.

It remains unclear how political parties would campaign with current lockdown measures prohibiting gatherings of 50 people.

However the latest development has all but opened the doors for the holding of political parties primary elections to chose candidates for the by-elections. And all parties are expected to have their final candidates ready for nomination court on October 9 as ordered by ZEC.

In Kwekwe Central Constituency, ZanuPF is likely to field the winner between Energy ‘Dhala’ Ncube and Kandros Mugabe. Both candidates have already started to campaign for the party’s primary election whose dates are yet to be announced.

Judith Tobaiwa, former Minister of Health, Henry Madzorera and former Kwekwe Central MP, Blessing Chebundo are set lock horns in the battle to represent MDC Alliance.

The candidates for the other political parties including MDC T are still not known.

Kwekwe Central Constituency was left vacant following the death of MP Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo.

Matambanadzo won the seat in 2018 under MPF party and he became the party’s only MP in the country.

He won against MDC Alliance’, Blessing Chebundo, Kandros Mugabe of ZanuPF and independent candidate and lawyer Josiniah Maupa.