HARARE – Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has vowed to exhaust both legal and regional diplomatic remedies to reverse the shock ouster of 12 party candidates from contesting for Bulawayo parliamentary seats with party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere describing the court ruling as unconstitutional.
Bulawayo High Court judge Bongani Ndlovu on Thursday ruled in favour of some Zanu PF activists who had argued the affected candidates surrendered their right to take part in the August 23 poll after filing their nomination papers June his year out of the stipulated 4pm deadline.
The judgement meant that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube could walk into parliament unopposed as his Cowdray Park challenger Pashor Sibanda of CCC has been disqualified.
Other seats that have been presented to Zanu PF on a silver platter include Bulawayo Central where Tendayi Charuka of Zanu PF was set to contest CCC’s Surrender Kapoikilu while in Bulawayo South, Zanu PF’s Raj Modi was set to face CCC’s Jane Nicola Watson.
The ruling has been met with a groundswell of disapproval from CCC and the broader civil society which accuse the ruling Zanu PF authority of manipulating the judiciary to gain poll advantage.
In a statement Thursday, Mahere said the party will use both legal and diplomatic solutions to the challenge.
“The CCC will urgently file an appeal against today’s judgment as well as invoke all legal, political and regional measures available under Zimbabwe’s Constitution as well as the SADC and African Union mechanisms to ensure that the ability of the citizens to choose their leaders as required by our supreme law is respected and duly safeguarded.
“As we challenge today’s decision, we remain unshaken in the fight for change and a New Great Zimbabwe that works for everyone and where the authority to govern is derived from the people, and not from those who wish to undermine the Constitution and the voice of the citizens,” Mahere said.
Mahere said the unfavourable court ruling were signs that Zanu PF and its leader Emmerson Mnangagwa were “afraid of the people”.
She said the Mnangagwa led government was worse than the erstwhile Robert Mugabe regime which was not as brazen in knocking out competitors.
“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,” Mahere said, adding that the court decision militated against citizens’ right to elect leaders of their choice.
“Accordingly, the thinly-veiled attempt to impose candidates on the citizens of Bulawayo is a dark stain on our democracy and confirms that Zimbabwe is now a full-blown dictatorship, worse than Robert Mugabe.
“Yet even at his worst, Robert Mugabe never tried to brazenly remove opponents he knew he would lose against from the ballot.”
A Supreme Court appeal would suspend Justice Ndlovu’s judgement. – ZimLive