Journalist and Government critic Hopewell Chin’ono said that the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa blundered in fielding its recalled MPs under the CCC banner.
Posting on X, Chin’ono said it was inevitable that the recalled CCC representatives would not be allowed to use the party’s name and symbols in by-elections, arguing that the recalls were initiated by ZANU PF in its quest to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Said Chin’ono:
I have just read that Sengezo Tshabangu’s application to have the recalled CCC MPs removed from the December 9 by-elections has been granted by the High Court of Zimbabwe.
It means that those re-called CCC MPs will not run in this by-election unless CCC appeals against today’s ruling, and wins that appeal against the High Court judgement.
I and many others publicly gave open advice to these recalled MPs to run as Independent candidates because any average political analyst or reader of Zimbabwean politics would have told you that there is a third hand in this case.
I am astonished by the schoolboy antics and mistakes that CCC continues to make aware of the viciousness of the enemy it is fighting…
ZANU PF has a hand in all this and that should be expected, but the opposition should respond strategically and not just go into courts where could have avoided doing so by just running as Independents to outwit the regime.
On 04 November, Chin’ono urged all CCC MPs to resign and trigger by-elections, and then contest as independent candidates. He said:
The real test of commitment to the struggle against ZANU PF tyranny and corrupt rule would be a total withdrawal of all CCC MPs from parliament.
That would trigger by-elections which they would contest as INDEPENDENTS.
… it gives you 100% control over the business of opposing ZANUPF, without that you will have compromised MPs whose only survival is decided by Tshabangu.
On Thursday, High Court judge Justice Never Katiyo barred the 22 recalled CCC Members of the National Assembly from contesting in the 09 December 2023 by-election after ruling that the move by the nomination court to accept their papers was unlawful. Read the judgement:
It is ordered that the decision of the Nomination Court sitting at Harare, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Lupane and/or any other location around the country on 7 November 2023 to accept the nomination papers and candidature of first to 22nd respondents for election in the by-elections set to be conducted on 9. December 2023 is unlawful, of no force and effect and hereby set aside.
It is ordered that the respondents are not candidates for election in the by-elections scheduled to be conducted on 9 December 2023 and that 23rd and 24th respondents shall not include the names of first to 22nd respondents in the preparation of ballot papers to be used in the by-elections scheduled to be conducted on 9 December 2023.
It is ordered that the first to 22nd respondents are interdicted from representing or holding themselves out to the general public and electorate in the constituencies concerned or any other place in Zimbabwe, whether physically or through any form of media, as candidates for election in by-elections scheduled to be held on 9 December 2023 and that the respondents shall jointly and severally pay the applicants’ cost on the ordinary scale.
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