High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda has upheld an application by Sengezo Tshabangu to have recalled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs and councillors removed from the ballot for February 3 by-elections.
The judge ruled that they had ceased to be CCC members and were not reinstated as such could not contest under the party.
“Indeed the respondents were recalled by the first applicant, indeed vacancies were created, by-elections were called for and will be held.
“Having observed the above I find that the applicants have proved or made a good case to declare a correct position which is that the respondents having ceased to be members of CCC and not having been reinstated will not contest in the by-elections under CCC.
“Therefore, consequently it is ordered that the names of the first to the 23 respondents shall not be on ballot papers as members of CCC,” ruled the judge.
Tshabangu successfully argued that acceptance of respondents’ nomination papers by the Nomination Court when they had ceased to be CCC members was unlawful.
He sought a declaratur for an order confirming that acceptance by the Nomination Court of the respondents’ nomination papers was not done in accordance with the law and is of no force.
Consequently, he wanted an order that their names should not appear on the ballot paper.
He also submitted that the matter was urgent since ZEC is already preparing ballot papers and by-elections will be held soon.
The respondents opposed the application arguing that the delay by Tshabangu to file his urgent chamber application showed that the matter was not urgent.
They also submitted that Tshabangu will not suffer any irreparable harm if his members participate in the by-elections.
They said there is nothing to stop candidates from the same political party from contesting in the elections as the issue of double candidates had happened during the harmonised elections.
However, their arguments did not find favour with the court.
Zanu PF Chairperson for Kaguvi District, Ward 14 in Mkoba North had also joined in the proceedings specifically challenging Amos Chibaya’s candidacy saying the nomination court erred by accepting his nomination papers.
That argument was upheld as well. – NewZim