Chamisa Slaps Mnangagwa: No 2023 Election Without My 12 MPs
31 July 2023
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CCC President Nelson Chamisa Threatens Election Boycott Over Disqualified Candidates.

*Marondera, July 31, 2023* – By Farai D Hove | The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) President, Nelson Chamisa, has declared that the 2023 elections in Zimbabwe will not take place if his 12 parliamentary candidates from Bulawayo are not reinstated. The announcement was made during a campaign rally held outside Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera yesterday.

The selection process for CCC candidates has been marred by chaos, with about 20 constituencies, particularly in Harare, witnessing double or triple candidates. The situation in Bulawayo was particularly contentious, as Nelson Chamisa attempted to gain an advantage by keeping his candidates in the dark while others submitted their nomination papers after the 4 pm deadline.

In response to this situation, 12 concerned registered voters from Bulawayo sought legal intervention and approached the High Court to have all 18 candidates who filed their nomination papers after the deadline disqualified. The Bulawayo High Court subsequently ruled in favor of disqualifying the 18 candidates, leading to three ZANU PF candidates winning unopposed in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo South, and Bulawayo Central.

Frustrated by the court’s decision, Nelson Chamisa publicly threatened to boycott the upcoming August 23 elections if his 12 Bulawayo candidates are not reinstated. He stated that if President Mnangagwa refuses to reinstate their candidates, it would be tantamount to declaring there will be no election in the country.

“Akaramba ma MP edu 12 (anenge) ataura kuti munyika muno hamuna ma election (If he refuses to reinstate our 12 candidates, he would have declared that there is not going to be an election in this country),” remarked Mr. Chamisa during his address at the rally.

In response to the opposition leader’s stance, President Mnangagwa emphasized that his administration has not filed any cases against political parties and should not be held responsible for candidates’ ignorance of electoral laws. He urged the opposition to familiarize themselves with the laws and challenged them to seek reimbursement for their tuition fees if they had studied law.

Amid the election dispute, Mr. Chamisa also made promises about bringing back the US dollar as the national currency, dismissing the local currency. However, his statements were met with criticism for ignoring the existence of the Minister of Finance and the local currency, which is currently pegged at about US$1 to $4,500.

As tensions escalate between political parties, Mr. Chamisa maintained that if his candidates are not reinstated, it would be a vote of no confidence in the elections and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). He also hinted at the possibility of seeking alternative solutions, such as a Transitional Authority.

“We will now be saying if you don’t want elections, we shall now go for a Transitional Authority,” said Mr. Chamisa. “If he refuses our 12 MPs, he has done a couple on the ballot. It’s a vote of no confidence in the elections. It’s a vote of no confidence in @ZECzim. We will not accept that… Mnangagwa underestimates us. He has no clue what we are capable of… we come in peace, let’s fix the country,” he added.

Mr. Chamisa also referenced the exile of some political figures, stating, “I saw what he did to @Hon_Kasukuwere… why is he in SA? Why is @ProfJNMoyo in Kenya? I might not agree with them, but they cannot be denied their rights.”

With just weeks left until the scheduled election date, the situation remains tense as the CCC’s position on the boycott continues to draw attention and debate across the country.