NEW faces grace the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) posters as the opposition party officially kicks off its campaign trail with a road show at Mucheke Stadium in Masv
ingo this weekend.
Out of the 120 candidates who contested the 2000 parliamentary election and are still around, the MDC has retained 41 candidates.
Prominent among new faces is former National Alliance for Good Governance president Shakespeare Maya who will stand as the opposition candidate for Mhondoro in place of Hilda Mafudze.
Maya will battle it out with former Zupco boss and newcomer, Bright Matonga.
University of Zimbabwe professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, National Constitutional Assembly vice-chairman and lawyer, Douglas Mwonzora, are some of the new faces.
In seven of Bulawayo province’s seats being contested, the MDC has retained those candidates who took the wind out of the ruling Zanu PF sails but has added new faces in Harare’s 15 constituencies.
Among the losers in the MDC primary elections in Harare province are incumbent Mabvuku legislator Justin Mutendadzamera, Dunmore Makuwaza (Mbare East), and Tichaona Munyanyi (Mbare West). Munyanyi and Makuwaza lost the amalgamated Mbare constituency to the party’s deputy secretary-general and trade unionist, Gift Chimanikire.
Unlike the ruling Zanu PF party, the MDC has not set a quota for women candidates. Less than 15 women are standing for the party whereas their opponent has 36.
Instead, the MDC has allowed some losers in the 2000 general election to have a second bite of the cherry.
Bernard Chiwondegwa, who lost to Samuel Mumbengegwi in the last general election, tries his political luck against schoolteacher Enita Muzariri in Chivi North.
One of its clutch of female candidates, Editor Matamisa, who lost a mayoral by-election in Kadoma in 2003, has revived her ambition to represent Kadoma Central, while Sekai Holland makes a second attempt to wrest control of Mberengwa East from Rugare Gumbo.
In Chivi South, the incumbent Charles Majange of Zanu PF will battle it out with long-time colleague and playmate, Steven Chengeta.
The constituency that the late Eddison Zvobgo bequeathed to agro-business dealer Walter Muzembi will witness a second attempt by Zacharia Rioga.