The High Court has dismissed an application by the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) seeking the removal of a candidate who allegedly forged signatures to file his nomination papers.
There are up to 20 CCC double candidates.
According to the CCC, some candidates forged signatures on their nomination papers in connivance with the Zanu-PF-aligned Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).
In Kariba, the CCC filed a court challenge seeking the removal of a suspected double candidate, Andrew Mutsau, saying his nomination was fraudulent.
High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Mafusire, however struck the matter from the urgent roll saying the opposition party lacks locus standi.
In the application, the CCC represented by Jeremiah Bhamu wanted Mutsau’s candidacy for Kariba constituency on a party ticket declared null and void.
“The presiding officer erred in law in declaring second respondent (Mutsau) to have been duly nominated on behalf of appellant (CCC) when their name was not put forward by the appellant, more specifically in that: Their nomination papers had in actual fact not been signed for by the two designated office bearers of the appellant,” Bhamu submitted.
“The signatures appearing on the nomination papers of the second respondent as those of the designated office bearers were forged and do not conform to the specimen signatures given first respondent (Zec) by appellant.
“The symbol used on the nomination papers was forged and not that of the appellant as given to the first respondent.”
In response, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) through lawyer, Tawanda Kanengoni, argued that the CCC appeal was defective and filed contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“As to the merits of the appeal, the nomination officer had no cause to doubt that the second respondent (Mutsau) were duly sponsored by the appellant,” Kanengoni said.
“The letter requesting corrective measures is dated June 22, 2023, a day after the sitting of the nomination court at which point the nomination officer was already “functus officio”.
Mutsau’s lawyer Tinashe Zintu submitted that his client was duly nominated and seconded by the party after participating in the candidate selection process.
Mutsau said his papers were signed by two designated office bearers.
“There is no evidence of forgery put before the court, showing and juxtaposing the purported fake and real signatures,” Zintu said.
“The symbol used was the same, the Appellant has not again put before the court the relevant papers for juxtaposition.”
However, the judge struck the matter off the roll.
Source – the standard