A staggering 107 political parties have informed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that they exist and might participate in the coming elections.
Commissioner Qhubani Moyo told Voice of America’s Studio 7 that each party is, however, not likely to field presidential, senatorial, parliamentary and local government candidates nationwide.
“Already 107 parties have informed us that they exist and so indications are they will be participating in the general elections. We usually hold a meeting with political parties ahead of elections and they normally come in large numbers … about 80 or 90. When we checked our numbers yesterday they were 107 political parties,” Moyo said.
There has been a lot of excitement about the elections since the entry of the National Patriotic Front into the ring with some reports saying it has the backing of former President Robert Mugabe and members of the G40 cabal.
Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, however, said Mugabe, his wife Grace and kingpins of the G40- Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Zhuwao himself- would not be in the founding leadership of the party.
The party is currently led by Ambrose Mutinhiri a former provincial governor and legislator.
Analysts say the NPF will be a spoiler which could cost the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front the election just like the “bhora musango” did in 2008.
The leading contender, Nelson Chamisa, says ZANU-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will be an easy walkover because this election is about a generational transfer of power.
Mnangagwa has not set the election date yet but the ZEC says they should be held between 21 July and 21 August.
He has, however, pledged that the elections will be free, fair and credible.
Zimbabwe needs elections whose outcome will be accepted internationally so that it can return to the fold and access much needed funding and foreign investment.