2023 ELECTIONS: Bulawayo candidates saga takes dramatic twist

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A Bulawayo voter has filed a High Court challenge against deputy industry minister Rajesh Kumar Modi’s candidacy, claiming he filed his nomination papers after the 4PM deadline when the nomination court sat in June this year.

Raymond Dudzayi Gombedza has taken legal action against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) nomination officer Innocent Ncube, alleging that the decision to accept Modi’s papers was in violation of electoral law.

Cde Raj Modi

But it gets worse! Modi is one of two ZANU PF candidates who could go into the August 23 elections unchallenged, after the High Court banned 12 CCC Bulawayo candidates for filing their papers beyond the regulated hours. And as if that wasn’t enough, reports suggest the court action that saw the opposition candidates ousted was engineered by some ZANU PF activists.

Gombedza cited Ncube as the first respondent in his application, while ZEC, Modi, and the ZEC chairperson are listed as second to fourth respondents, respectively. In his application, Gombedza said when the nomination court sat on June 21, Modi’s papers were not in order.

“The disarray resulted in Modi being turned away by the nomination court in order to rectify the fatal defects that were in his papers,” he said.

“Notwithstanding and surprisingly, the nomination court presided over by Ncube proceeded to consider and accept the nomination papers of Modi after 4PM on 21 June 2023 (even though Modi was not even within the court itself).”

The court challenge could be a big test to the Bulawayo High Court’s impartiality as it is the same court that issued the ban on opposition candidates.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing, but it’s sure to be a nail-biter! Stay tuned for more updates on this shocking election scandal.


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