The Nomination Court sat nationwide on Wednesday for candidates seeking to contest in the 2023 elections. As candidates scrambled to submit their nomination papers, administrative chaos within the opposition Citizen’s Coalition for Change (CCC) party threatened to derail their campaign.
Women’s groups and independent candidates milled around nomination venues like the Gwanda Magistrate’s Court as last-minute efforts were made to gather required documents. Many CCC candidates arrived unprepared and disorganized.
At the last minute, CCC candidates retreated to their party headquarters to await nomination papers from Harare, indicating a lack of preparedness at the provincial level. Some candidates did not have enough money to pay the nomination fees.
When nomination papers finally arrived, they were submitted 10 minutes past the 4 p.m. deadline, resulting in the disqualification of CCC candidates. In Masvingo, CCC members reportedly almost came to blows outside the court as they argued over the final candidate list.
The confusion forced some CCC members like Masvingo Mayor Collins Maboke and former Chiredzi chairman Gibson Hwende to resign from the party and contest as independent candidates.
The administrative chaos casts doubt on CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s claims of “strategic ambiguity” and secret election strategy. Many see the disorder as a result of poor organization and infrastructure within the upstart opposition party.
While CCC hopes to provide an alternative to the ruling ZANU-PF, the mishandling of the nomination process indicates the party is not ready to effectively govern. The administrative chaos may negatively impact CCC’s chances in the 2023 elections.