Drama in Zimbabwe as courts boot out opposition before election even begins


The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging a High Court ruling that disqualified 12 of its parliamentary candidates in Bulawayo.

High Court Judge Bongani Ndlovu ruled last week that the affected candidates had submitted their nomination papers after the 4pm deadline.

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere confirmed the appeal had been filed. “The noting of the appeal suspends the operation of the judgment. Our candidatures accordingly remain on the ballot until the appeal is heard,” she said.

The ruling awarded Zanu PF three seats unopposed in Bulawayo: Cowdray Park, Bulawayo South and Bulawayo North. Nine other seats will still have elections as more than three parties are contesting.

G40 kingpin Cde Saviour Kasukuwere

Separately, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling dismissing presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal challenging his disqualification.

The judges unanimously ruled that Kasukuwere’s “appeal lacks merit.” A Zanu PF activist had argued Kasukuwere was ineligible having been out of Zimbabwe for over 18 months.

Some election watchdogs said recent court cases have thrown Zimbabwe’s credibility into doubt and trampled citizens’ rights. Takunda Tsunga of the Election Resource Centre said: “The Judiciary’s strict and restrictive approach … has eroded citizen trust in the Judiciary.”

Zimbabwe Elections Advocacy Trust director Ignatius Sadziwa said there is “clear weaponization of the law against the opposition.” Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya argued the electoral process has been “tainted with partisan judgements.”

Church leader Kenneth Mtata said Zimbabwe is “heading towards the most discredited and disputed election.”

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