Independent candidate, Brian Ticky

Zec ready for by-elections, campaigns start in earnest

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it is ready for Saturday’s by-elections, as candidates for the Mount Pleasant and Harare East constituencies have also hit the ground running.

While commission chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana has said everything was in place, including 81 000 ballot papers, those vying for Fadzai Mahere’s ex-constituency – Zanu PF’s George Mashavave and independents Brian Ticky as well as Nason Mamuse – have also hit the campaign trail.

“A total of… 42 300 for Mount Pleasant (MP) and… 38 850 for Harare East ballot papers have been printed for the conduct of the by-elections,” he said, adding “a contingency of nearly seven” has been provisioned for the former and “six percent for Harare East”. The latter belonged to another Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Allan Markham, who resigned on February 20.

While Mashavave has vowed to win the sprawling and northern Harare constituency for the ruling party, one of his independent opponents – who is also aligned to Nelson Chamisa – Brian Ticky has equally expressed confidence in snatching victory.

“Everyone is aware of the political developments, which happened in the past few months and… the recalls by an illegitimate representative of the main opposition, which disrupted the work and mandate elected parliamentary members, and eminent people of our constituency,” he said in his election manifesto.

“After the recalls, the self-imposed leadership made sure they disqualified people who wanted to contest in by-elections. All these actions and other factors prompted the resignation of… Nelson Chamisa because the movement was now compromised..,” Ticky, an architectural technician, said on his decision to run as an independent for MP.

“I have worked in Harare and being a resident of Avondale… I have interacted with most people in our esteemed constituency (and) have worked with you directly or indirectly… on some projects in our constituency, including the BancABC headoffice, Groombridge shopping center expansion, French school and Arundel,” he said, adding, therefore, that “as a people, we have to stay focused and stand for ourselves “.

“The trust I have been given to design or work on some of these projects was overwhelming and… l promise to do the same if given an opportunity to represent our community,” Ticky, who has chosen to align himself with Chamisa, said.

“As a technocrat, I understand what needs to be done to improve infra structure in our communities. Although our local authorities are obliged to deal with such things like policy, water supply and refuse collection, I believe we have some ideas which can help in the execution of these issues (as it is equally our collective responsibility to restore Harare’s status,” the parliamentary aspirant said.

“The implementation of sound policies, which are the fundamental basis for democracy, is quite key in this new Zimbabwe we all want, thus our country needs people who are committed to serving, sacrificing their time… and ready to take the challenge of executing their community obligations,” Ticky said, adding his “ideology will not be too far from that of Mahere because that is what we had all voted for in the previous election”.

“We will also insist on selecting co-community leaders based on merit and regardless of their political affiliation, race, creed or religion,” he said.

“Since I’ve worked with local authorities… for a substantial amount of time, its easier…. for me to engage in tackling the challenges confronting us everyday and one of my legislative agendas will be to align housing policies in order to improve our living standards,” Ticky said.

“I will champion the development of world class infrastructure by seeking genuine investment to build… shopping malls, amusement parks and other modern facilities, which can improve our community status..,” he said.

“As young people, we should participate in nation building by taking steps to… shape our legislation in various areas (and) bring about positive change. To develop our communities (and) just like during the Chimurenga struggle, we were all heavily dependent on each other and especially the masses,” Ticky said.

“We cherish this history, but it should never be used as an excuse for underdevelopment and suppressing the youths from make meaningful contributions to national building,” he said, adding his “role was to put the banner of our community on its right pedestal, visible platform and in consultation with everyone in the community,” he said.

“We need a holistic approach to tackle our challenges, starting at a community level and eventually as a country..,” Ticky said., adding “he was glad to be part of a community that is open minded and clear that age is not a limiting factor for bringing about development”.

On the other hand, parliamentary candidates for Harare East are Kevin Mutimbanyoka of Zanu PF and Ropafadzo Cheza – an independent.

 By Masimba Makwembere STAFF WRITER

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