In a display of defiance against the controversial recall order issued by Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-styled interim secretary general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, the targeted candidates filed their nomination papers for re-election on Tuesday.
This act of open rebellion occurred after Tshabangu himself fielded his own candidates under the CCC banner.
The nomination court convened in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Harare provinces to select nine national assembly representatives affected by the recall order. Among the nine were directly elected members of parliament (MPs), while others had secured their positions through proportional representation.
In total, the recalls impacted 14 MPs, and the repercussions of the recall were evident as Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T party failed to present any candidates. It is noteworthy that the MDC-T had not won a single seat in the by-elections held in March of last year or in the recent harmonized elections on August 23.
ZAPU, a party deeply rooted in Matabeleland, successfully filed nomination papers for its candidates, further adding to the political landscape.
Interestingly, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who experienced defeat in his first parliamentary election bid under the Zanu PF party in August, did not file for nomination.
However, the focal point of the day centered around the confrontation between Nelson Chamisa’s CCC and the faction led by Tshabangu.
In Bulawayo, the recalled CCC MPs, namely Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Eric Gono (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Nicola Watson (Bulawayo South), Obert Manduna (Nketa), and Pashor Raphael Sibanda (Cowdray Park), successfully submitted their nomination papers.
Tshabangu also fielded candidates in the same constituencies, namely Charles Moyo (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Tendai Nyathi (Lobengula-Magwegwe), James Sithole (Bulawayo South), Ambrose Sibindi (Nketa), and Vusumuzi Chirwa (Cowdray Park).
Zanu PF will be represented by Dzingai Kamamba (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Menziwa Dube (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Raj Modi (Bulawayo South), Albert Mavhunga (Nketa), and Arthur Mujeyi (Cowdray Park).
Moreover, former MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda filed his candidacy to reclaim his seat in Binga North under the CCC. He faces competition from Judith Sibanda (CCC-Tshabangu) and Chineka Muchimba (Zanu PF).
In Lupane East, former MP Bright Vanya Moyo (CCC) will vie for the seat alongside David Nyathi (CCC-Tshabangu) and Phathisiwe Machangu (Zanu PF).
Recalled MP Morgan Ncube filed his candidacy under the CCC in Beitbridge West.
In the Tafara-Mabvuku constituency, recalled CCC legislator Febion M. Kufahakutizwi launched a bid to reclaim his seat and will face off against gold dealer Pedzisayi ‘Scott’ Sakupwanya, who had previously lost to Kufahakutizwi in August.
Interestingly, CCC-Tshabangu did not field a candidate in Tafara-Mabvuku.
During a press briefing at the Bulawayo nomination court, former CCC legislator Kucaca Phulu, representing the Tshabangu faction, defended the decision to field double candidates, citing limited avenues for expressing discontent within Chamisa’s leadership of the CCC. He viewed the presence of double candidates as an opportunity for dialogue and resolution to move the organization forward.
Tshabangu himself hinted at the possibility of seeking legal recourse to challenge the fielding of candidates he had recalled. He reaffirmed his intent to use Chamisa’s face as the symbol of his party, emphasizing that it was not a private but a party insignia.
Reports have emerged that the recalled CCC MPs have also lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, contesting the High Court’s decision on Saturday to dismiss their bid to reverse the recalls.