The opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora and MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa have agreed to field one candidate to contest council elections in Matabeleland South Province.
Over 80 council by-elections are pending across the country, and more than 40 parliamentary seats are vacant after the MDC-T recalled legislators and councillors affiliated with the MDC Alliance.
However, by-elections were suspended by the government due to COVID-19 regulations.
MDC-T’s Matabeleland South provincial executive has said it is opposed to recalls and wants unity talks with other opposition parties to ensure victory against Zanu PF.
The party’s chairperson in the province, Ekem Moyo, who is former Gwanda South legislator, said:
We are planning on having one single candidate from the MDC Alliance or MDC-T so that we push the Matabeleland South agenda. The electorate is clear that it wants a united MDC.
On Friday, the provincial executive led by Moyo, provincial secretary-general Younger Moyo and organising secretary Bekezela Maplanka met a number of MDC Alliance councillors in Gwanda to strike a unity pact.
He added that they were working with councillors from the MDC Alliance adding that they were elected and should not be sacrificed or fired as that might be against the interests of the electorate.
In terms of section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution, legislators and councillors can be recalled at the instigation of the party that got them elected into Parliament.
Electoral watchdogs like the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) have, however, expressed concern over the slow pace in implementing electoral reforms ahead of the by-elections and general elections in 2023.