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Zanu PF seeks nullification of 15 CCC candidates in Bulawayo by ZEC

The ruling Zanu-PF party has claimed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) did not close at 4pm as stipulated by the law on the day the Nomination Court set and therefore “illegally” accepted papers from 15 opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates in Bulawayo.

In a statement on Thursday, Zanu-PF Treasurer General who also doubles as Acting Secretary for Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa threatened to take ZEC to court demanding that the 15 aspiring Members of Parliament be stopped from contesting.

Chinamasa cited part of the Electoral Act which stipulates that: “No nomination paper shall be received by the nomination officer in terms of Subsection (6) after four o’clock in the afternoon of nomination day or, where there is more than one nomination day for the election concerned, the last such nomination day.

“Provided that, if at that time a candidate or his or her chief election agent is present in the court and ready to submit a nomination paper in respect of the candidate the nomination officer shall give him or her an opportunity to do so.

“The nomination officer shall examine every nomination paper lodged with him or her which has not been previously examined by him or her in order to ascertain whether it is in order and shall give any candidate or his or her chief election agent an opportunity to rectify any defect not previously rectified and may adjourn the sitting of the court for that purpose from time to time:

“Provided that the sitting shall not be adjourned to any other day that is not a nomination day”.

The mentioned CCC candidates are:

1)). Kapoikulu Surrender (Bulawayo Central)

2). Gumede Minehle Ntandoyenkosi (Bulawayo North)

3). Watson Nicola Jane (Bulawayo South)

4). Sibanda Pashor Raphael (Cowdray Park)

5). Bajila Collins Discent (Emakhandeni/Luveve)

6). Tshuma Dingilizwe (Entumbane/Njube)

7). Dube Prince (Entumbane/Njube)

8). Gono Dereck (Lobengula/Magwegwe)

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9). Makaza Desmond (Mpopoma/Mzilikazi)

10). Manduna Obert (Nketa)

11). Moyo Desire (Nkulumane)

12). Moyo Soneni (Pelandaba/Tshabalala)

13). Siziba Gift (Pelandaba/Tshabalala)

14). Mahlangu Sichelesile (Pumula)

15). Mhlanga Albert (Pumula)

Zanu-PF believes that the CCC failed to file nomination papers in time due to the party’s lack of structures and constitution.

Accordingly, Zanu-PF said it has been directed to institute litigation “urgently” for the nullification of the 15 CCC candidates.

“In short the CCC candidates referred to above were not in court with signed nomination papers and nomination fee by the time the Nomination Court closed at 4pm on 21 June 2023.

“As the above will show, the Nomination Court sat on 22 June 2023 again in contravention of section 46 (7) and (8) of the Electoral Act,” read the statement.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had no legal right to accept the nominations referred to from candidates who were not within the court by 4pm on 21 June 2023.

“Further the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had no legal right to sit as a Nomination Court on 22 June 2023 to receive and accept nomination papers from CCC candidates referred to above, payment from a CCC Official who was said to be still in Harare as at 4pm on 21 June 2023.

“The law is “a ass” and must be obeyed and complied with.

“Accordingly ZANU PF has directed that litigation be instituted urgently for the nullification of the nomination of the CCC candidates mentioned above and whose papers were submitted out of time in contravention of Section 46 (7) and (8) of the Electoral Act( Chapter 2:13).”

Commenting on the issue, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu said;

“According to this Press Statement, Zanu-PF intends to pursue the litigation route against the duly nominated CCC candidates. The fact that Zanu-PF intends to ask a court of law to disqualify CCC candidates is significant. Take note of the chosen route.”

Former cabinet Minister and senior CCC member David Coltart said the mentioned aspiring MPs’ nomination papers were submitted before 4pm.

“Patrick Chinamasa is grandstanding on a massive scale by suggesting that CCC MP and Senatorial candidates were not validly nominated in Bulawayo. They were all present and their nomination papers were submitted before 4pm. His statement is ridiculous,” he said.