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No shortage of candidates as 102 contest June by-elections

There was no shortage of candidates for the 10 June by-elections as 102 candidates filed their nomination papers yesterday giving the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front an element of credibility. The vacancies were created by the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change when it recalled the seats that were held by its former members who had formed the Renewal Team. There have been questions why the MDC-T recalled the seats when it has vowed not to contest any elections until there are electoral reforms. This has led to accusations that the MDC-T is working in collusion with ZANU-PF as it has literally surrendered the 14 seats that will be contested to ZANU-PF which already hold almost three quarters of the seats in the national assembly. Some of the heaviest contests, on paper, will be in Harare where some constituencies are being contested by more than 10 candidates. Although there are a lot of independent candidates contesting it is not clear whether any belong to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s faction. There have been media reports that her faction would be taking ZANU-PF head-on in the by-elections. But with seven weeks to the elections, a true picture could merge when the campaigning kicks off.

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