CCC Bulawayo nomination court debacle

Prof. Jonathan Moyo

Much has been said today in attempts to explain or excuse CCC’s candidate nomination debacle in Bulawayo, following yesterday’s press statement by Patrick Chinamasa, on ZanuPF’s position on the matter.

By Prof. Jonathan Moyo

Apart from emotive bare denials and the usual ad hominem insults and crude personal demonisation, neither CCC nor its supporters have presented any facts to support their bare claim that all 12 CCC constituency candidates were present in court and ready to file complete and valid nomination papers by 4 pm, when the Nomination Court in Bulawayo closed on 21 June 2023, the nomination day.

Instead of providing any factual evidence establishing the presence and readiness of CCC candidates to file, by the material time, complete and valid nomination papers, CCC and its supporters have been pointing to the proviso [which they have highlighted in Chinamasa’s press statement] under section 46(7) of the Electoral Act, as ‘their evidence”, when in fact that proviso is only the law, which law must be applied to the facts of the case, which facts of the case CCC and its supporters do not have or are embarrassed to engage, fearing to expose themselves.

But even worse, CCC and its supporters are either deliberately misinterpreting the proviso they have highlighted, or they in fact do not understand it.

Section 46(7) of the Electoral Act with the proviso at the bottom provides that:

(7) No nomination paper shall be received by the nomination officer in terms of subsection (6) after four o’clock in the afternoon of nomination day or, where there is more than one nomination day for the election concerned, the last such nomination day:

Provided that, if at that time a candidate or his or her chief election agent is PRESENT in the court and READY to submit a nomination paper in respect of the candidate, the nomination officer shall give him or her an opportunity to do so.

I have put ‘PRESENT’ and ‘READY’ to highlight the point in question.

Section 46(7) is clear that “no nomination paper shall be received by the nomination officer after 4 pm” unless “at that time”, meaning at 4 pm, a candidate or his or her chief election agent is PRESENT in the court and is READY to submit a complete and valid nomination paper.

This is very clear.

It’s not enough to be present in court waiting for someone from Harare or wherever to bring correct papers or to come and sign fresh nomination papers.

It’s also not enough to be loitering in the corridors or halls of the Court, making frantic calls to Harare or wherever, to no end. A candidate or their chief election agent has to be present inside the court and must be ready to file complete and a valid nomination paper. That is the law.

The fact is that none of the CCC candidates were present inside the Court and ready with complete and valid papers at 4 pm on nomination day, 21 June 2023.


ZEC adjourned the Nomination Court from 4 pm to 6pm to accommodate CCC candidates who were in fact not READY to submit, for processing, complete and valid nomination papers in terms of the proviso under section 46(7) of the Electoral Act.

So the Nomination Court adjourned from 4 pm to 6 pm, then from 6 pm to 8 pm, then from 8 pm to 10 pm, then from 10 pm to midnight, then from midnight to 10 minutes after midnight [22 June 2023], and then went on well into the wee hours of 22 June 2023, a non-nomination day!