BULAWAYO – The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) faced difficulties during the Nomination Court process in Zimbabwe.
The party employed a “strategic ambiguity” tactic by not publicly disclosing its candidates and running party affairs from Harare.
Party leader Nelson Chamisa stated that this tactic was intended to safeguard candidates and prevent infiltration by the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
However, the party’s poor preparation was exposed when candidates received their nomination forms from Harare at the last minute. Some mishaps occurred, such as nomination forms and passport pictures going missing or lacking necessary attachments. Party insiders claimed that there was a lack of coordination at the provincial level, resulting in disorganized nomination papers.
The authorized signatory for the nomination papers was initially indicated as Stha Mlilo and Siphiwe Ncube in documents from Harare. However, it was discovered during the filing of nomination papers that Mlilo was not an authorized signatory.
Greta Gumede, who was in Luveve at the time, was the actual authorized signatory. Candidates had to remove the page with the unauthorized signature and have it filled by an authorized party official.
Due to these issues, some CCC candidates were unable to file their nomination papers during the Nomination Court. Candidates were uncertain about the necessary documentation and signatories, as this information was classified within the party. They had to rely on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to provide them with the correct signatories.
Eventually, the nomination forms were brought in by Sichelesile Mahlangu, an outgoing MP and current CCC candidate, after lunch. However, Innocent Ncube, the ZEC Bulawayo Provincial Elections Presiding Officer, pointed out that the nomination forms of the 12 CCC MP candidates had unauthorised signatures.
Ncube questioned why the CCC candidates had submitted their papers late, advising them to collect new forms, correct the signatures, and submit the correct pages.
After making the necessary corrections, the CCC released a statement acknowledging the “minor technical challenges” faced by their 12 MP candidates during the nomination process. However, the late submission caused the election agent representing CCC’s deputy spokesperson to only be cleared to pay nomination fees well after midnight.
During the submission of party lists for proportional representation (PR) and the Senate, the CCC clashed with the presiding officer, Innocent Ncube. Ncube expressed dissatisfaction with their conduct, accusing them of attempting to disrupt the process.
CCC officials, accompanied by their lawyer, had to plead their case and clarify that they were not making new submissions but rather submitting corrected forms after 11 pm.
Several other political parties, including MDC-T, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), and the Zimbabwean African National Congress (ZANC), also faced challenges when submitting their party lists for the elections.