‘Double-Candidate-Criminal’ ZEC Suffocates CCC Again Over Late Submissions
20 July 2023
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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Double-Edged Sword: A Battle against the CCC Party.

By Farai D Hove | Analysis | The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) finds itself embroiled in yet another legal battle, this time with the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party led by Nelson Chamisa. The controversy stems from ZEC’s refusal to remove double candidates filed under CCC, followed by its decision to wage a war against the party in court. ZEC accuses certain CCC candidates of filing their nomination papers late, leaving the party in a precarious position. This article examines the ongoing legal proceedings and their implications for the upcoming elections.


On June 21, the Nomination Court sat to accept papers from aspiring candidates participating in the August 23 harmonized elections. The next day, ZEC allowed some candidates who had failed to file their papers on time to submit them. Among the late filers were candidates from various parties, including CCC, Zapu, Free Zim Congress, and the Zimbabwe African National Congress (ZANC).

ZEC’s Accusations and Legal Challenge

ZEC has since published the final list of candidates participating in the elections. However, twelve registered voters in Bulawayo, represented by Cheda and Cheda Associates, have filed urgent chamber applications at the Bulawayo High Court challenging ZEC’s decision to accept the nomination papers from the opposition party candidates. The applicants are seeking the disqualification of CCC candidates who allegedly filed their nomination papers outside the designated timeframes.

One of the applicants, Ms. Rachel Dube, argues in her affidavit that ZEC’s acceptance of the nomination papers from the CCC candidates is an illegality that should be declared null and void. She claims that despite the Nomination Court commencing at 10 AM on June 21, the nomination papers for the CCC candidates were in disarray. Ms. Dube argues that the actions taken by the provincial elections officer were solely aimed at accommodating the late-filing CCC candidates and their colleagues from the same political parties in other constituencies in Bulawayo.

Legal Arguments and Counterarguments

ZEC, represented by Mr. Tawanda Kanengoni, has opposed the application, asserting that the general division of the High Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter. ZEC argues that electoral disputes fall under the purview of the specialized Electoral Court. Furthermore, Professor Welshman Ncube, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, and other lawyers representing the CCC candidates contend that the High Court should strike the case off the roll, as it infringes upon the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court.

The CCC candidates’ legal representatives emphasize the need to establish the exact time the candidates arrived at the nomination court to file their papers. They argue that the applicants’ claims are based on hearsay evidence since they were not present at the court proceedings. They assert that the applicants are relying on “fairytales” and lack firsthand knowledge of the events.

Ruling and Implications

High Court judge Justice Bongani Ndlovu will rule on the preliminary arguments before the case proceeds on its merits. If the court upholds ZEC’s contention that the matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court, it could potentially lead to the case being dismissed or transferred to the specialized court. On the other hand, if the High Court determines that it has the authority to decide declaratory matters, the case will proceed, and a final judgment will be delivered.

The outcome of this legal battle will have significant implications for the CCC party and the upcoming elections. If the CCC candidates are disqualified, it could potentially weaken the party’s representation and alter the political landscape. Conversely, if the court rules in favor of the CCC candidates, it may lead to questions regarding ZEC’s handling of the nomination process and the transparency of the electoral system.


The ongoing legal dispute between ZEC and the CCC party highlights the contentious nature of Zimbabwe’s electoral process. As the High Court prepares to make a ruling, the fate of the CCC candidates hangs in the balance. Regardless of the outcome, this case underscores the importance of upholding the rule of law, ensuring transparency in elections, and addressing disputes through appropriate legal channels to maintain the integrity of the democratic process in Zimbabwe.