A chief in Mashonaland Central, Bramwell Bushu, is under fire for winning primary elections to represent Zanu PF as its parliamentary candidate in the Shamva South Constituency in the July 30 elections.
His opposite number, MDC candidate Leman Pwanyiwa, is challenging Bushu’s selection, which he argues is unconstitutional.
In the application before the High Court, Pwanyiwa cited Bushu, Zanu PF, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the National Council of Chiefs as respondents.
“This is an application for an interdict against the first respondent (Bushu) from being a member of the second respondent (Zanu PF) and from standing for election as a candidate for the National Assembly elections for Shamva South Constituency.
“The applicant (Pwanyiwa) also seeks interdict to bar the third respondent (Zec) functionaries who will be deployed at the Nomination Court sitting at the Magistrates’ Court Main Street Bindura, situated in Mashonaland Central Province, from receiving and accepting the first respondent’s nomination papers,” Pwanyiwa said in his court papers.
The ruling Zanu PF held its primary elections from April 29 to 30.
“I was surprised to discover that the name of the first respondent appeared as a contestant in the elections for Mashonaland Central, Shamva South Constituency.
“I thought this was a mistake which the second respondent would rectify since it is well known that the first respondent is serving as a chief of Bushu Village since June 2016 when he took over from his father, Show Bushu,” Pwanyiwa said in his affidavit.
He said in terms of the law, it is unconstitutional for any traditional leader to be a member of a political party or to participate in partisan politics or act in a partisan manner.
“The first respondent is in clear violation of the Constitution by being a member of the second respondent and by contesting to be the second respondent’s candidate for the national assembly seat for Shamva South Constituency.
“The first respondent has by his conduct furthered the interests of the second respondent, participated in partisan politics and shown himself to be a member of the second respondent,” he said.
He added: “I am advised that the High Court in Masvingo delivered an order with the case number HC92/18 and order number 56/18 declaring that the involvement of traditional leaders in partisan politics and declaration of allegiance to Zanu PF is a breach of the right to a free and fair election as enshrined in Section 67 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe”.
He also argued that in terms of Section 5 (1) (a) of the Traditional Leaders Act (Chapter 29:17), chiefs’ functions are restricted to performing their duties of being traditional heads of their communities and promoting cultural values.
“I also seek this honourable court to bar the third respondent’s functionaries who will be deployed at the Nomination Court…from receiving and accepting the first respondent’s nomination papers,” the court was told.
The court is still to make a determination in the matter. Daily News