Court Blocks 12 Chamisa MPs From Contesting 
27 July 2023
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By- A Bulawayo Judge has blocked twelve Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP candidates from contesting the 2023 elections for filing their nomination papers after the regulated time of 4 PM on 21 June. 

Three others from other opposition parties are set to be struck off the ballot.

Justice Bongani Ndlovu ruled:

It is declared that the decision of the first respondent (ZEC), sitting as a Nomination Court at Bulawayo on 21 and 22 June 2023 to accept the respondents’ nomination papers and candidature in the elections scheduled for 23 August 2023 is declared null and void and is hereby set aside.

This could result in ZANU PF winning all 12 National Assembly seats in Bulawayo unopposed, as they did in Bulawayo South in the previous elections. Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube is among ZANU PF candidates now elected unopposed. 

CCC national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, has stated that the party will appeal against the ruling. In a Twitter post seen by Pindula News, Mahere said:

We’ve received a report that our @CCCZimbabwe candidates in Bulawayo have been barred from contesting. Details to follow.

The @CCCZimbabwe will appeal against the Byo Judgment. Citizens have the right to nominate candidates within the ambit of the law & to be represented by MPs that they choose in a free & fair election. The right to parliamentary representation of choice is sacred. #ForEveryone.

On 19 July, the Electoral Court consolidated a dozen applications filed by ZANU PF activists seeking to have CCC National Assembly candidates in Bulawayo disqualified from the 23 August elections. The applicants, who only described themselves as “registered voters,” argued that CCC, other opposition parties, and independents filed their nomination papers after the regulated time of 4 PM on 21 June and should not be allowed to contest. 

CCC claims that all its candidates in Bulawayo filed their papers by 4 PM, but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) asked them to correct signature anomalies on the forms. The party argues that its candidates were ready to file the corrected forms by 4 PM and were present at the Nomination Court, but ZEC was assisting other candidates. The process continued into the wee hours of 22 June. The candidates have argued in a court filing that their papers were delivered to ZEC before 4 PM, but the nomination papers appear to have suddenly disappeared while in the court’s custody.

ZEC lawyers argued that the CCC applicants were given all the facilities and rights prescribed by the Electoral Act and were not denied their right to file nomination papers. They argued that Mr Ncube, ZEC’s Nomination Officer, explained that he announced the close of the Nomination Court and invited all present to submit their nomination papers. He said he further instructed the police officers to collect all nomination papers outside the court, except those already inside.

ZEC lawyers added that when Ncube examined the party lists for the CCC, he found that the party had submitted three party lists for Senatorial, National Assembly and Youth quota, but did not have one for the provincial council. He then sent their representative back to make corrections on anomalies. The lawyers said the corrected party-list nomination papers were returned with the provincial council party list added, which was not part of the original submission. Ncube denied losing the nomination papers of the CCC members and stated that the factual narration given by the applicants is not correct.