BULAWAYO – A High Court judge on Thursday barred 12 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates for the National Assembly from taking part in the August 23 elections, ruling that their nomination papers were filed out of time.
Justice Bongani Ndlovu’s judgement carries devastating consequences for the country’s main opposition party which now cannot have any representation in the Senate from Bulawayo province, or take up any youth and women’s quota seats in the National Assembly, where seats are allocated on the basis of proportional representation based on votes each party obtains in elections for National Assembly representatives.
“It also means the party is now denied a decent share of cash under the Political Parties (Finance) Act because that’s only determined by votes for National Assembly candidates,” lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku told ZimLive.
The CCC’s legal team said it would appeal the judgement.
“We have taken note of the judgment of the High Court barring the CCC candidates from participating in the elections. We respectfully disagree with it and will be taking the necessary legal steps to ensure that elections are held. Candidates must continue with their work undeterred,” Advocate Thabni Mpofu said.
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said Zanu PF and its leader Emmerson Mnangagwa were “afraid of the people.”
“Even at his worst, Robert Mugabe never tried to remove opponents whom he feared from the ballot paper. Zanu PF’s removal of 12 Bulawayo candidates renders this a full blown dictatorship and an outpost of tyranny,” CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said.
Justice Nokuthula Moyo delivered the judgement on behalf of Justice Ndlovu at the Bulawayo High Court. She only read the operative part, upholding an appeal by 12 Zanu PF activists styling themselves as “registered voters.” The 12 separately filed appeals from each of Bulawayo’s 12 constituencies, and Justice Ndlovu had consolidated the appeals into one.
The Zanu PF activists argued that CCC candidates filed their nomination papers after the 4PM deadline on June 21. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had opposed the applications, insisting that the 12 had filed by 4PM.
Among Zanu PF candidates now elected unopposed is the finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who was set to face the CCC’s Pashor Sibanda in Cowdray Park.
Other seats where Zanu PF would win unopposed are Bulawayo Central where Tendayi Charuka was to face the CCC’s Surrender Kapoikilu and Bulawayo South where Rajeshkumari Modi bought out Admore Gomba of the Democratic Opposition Party and was to face the CCC’s Jane Nicola Watson.
An appeal by the CCC would suspend Justice Ndlovu’s judgement. – ZimLive