MDC-T punished for candidate imposition

By Daniel Nemukuyu

The imposition of candidates by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has proved costly after the High Court barred the opposition party’s candidate for Ward 21 in Mabvuku from contesting on July 30 and ordered that a primary election be held urgently for the local authority seat.

File picture of judges in Zimbabwe
File picture of judges in Zimbabwe

High Court Judge Justice Clement Phiri ordered the holding of a primary election in Mabvuku, two days before the Nomination Court sits.

The development has left MDC-T without a candidate for the council seat unless they quickly comply with the order. The Nomination Court sits tomorrow. Justice Phiri ruled in favour of an aspiring councillor, Mr Blessing Nhende, who was elbowed out to allow the imposition of Mr Barnabas Ndira.

Mr Nhende argued that Ward 21 was reserved for the youth quota, but Mr Ndira, who is too old to be a youth, was imposed as the party’s candidate.

The court order reads: It is ordered that:

a) Endorsement of second respondent (Mr Ndira) as aspiring councillor for Ward 21, Mabvuku, Harare, be and is hereby nullified.

b) The first respondent is hereby ordered to make the necessary arrangements for the holding of primary elections for Ward 21,

Mabvuku, Harare, should it be necessary before the 14th of June 2018 . . .”

Justice Phiri slapped MDC-T with an order for costs.

Meanwhile, Mr Nhende has written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), informing it of the development. In the court application, MDC-T, Mr Ndira and ZEC were listed as respondents.

When MDC-T called for nominations for the primary selection, Mr Nhende submitted his papers together with others for Ward 21.

“I believe I complied with all the requirements and I thus awaited the response from first respondent. On 29 April 2018, MDC-T announced that my application was successful and that I was placed on a list of those aspiring to contest for Ward 19,” he said.

Mr Nhende said he had not applied to contest in Ward 19, but Ward 21.

“I pointed out the anomaly that I had not submitted my application for Ward 19, but for Ward 21 where I belong,” he said.

He appealed the decision, but MDC-T did not afford him an opportunity to be heard. Mr Nhende was then shut out of the “consensus” deliberations that resulted in the imposition of Mr Ndira as the party’s candidate for Ward 21. That resulted in the matter spilling into the High Court.

The court ruled that the MDC-T should hold a primary election in the ward urgently before the 14th of June to get a youth candidate for the ward.

The ruling is likely to cause a mayhem in the party where imposition of candidates has caused disgruntlement among even senior party members. The Herald