THE High Court has today barred the 22 Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs and senators who were recently recalled by the party’s interim secretary general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu from participating in Saturday’s by-elections.
The ruling by Harare High Court judge Justice Never Katiyo follows an urgent chamber application by Mr Tshabangu, through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri seeking the disqualification of the recalled CCC MPs and senators.
Mr Tshabangu recalled 14 MPs and eight senators in October this year, saying they had ceased to be CCC members.
The MPs later filed two appeals at High Court and the Supreme Court, which they lost.
They then successfully filed their nomination papers for the by-elections under CCC, prompting Mr Tshabangu to challenge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s decision to accept their names.
In papers before the court, the 22 recalled legislators: Prince Sibanda, Bright Moyo, Veliswe Nkomo, Jasmine Toffa, Stabile Mlilo, Pashor Raphael Sibanda, Nicola Jane Watson, Ereck Gono, Evidence Sunungurai Zana, Morgan Ncube, Obert Manduna, Janeth Dube, Desmond Makaza, Gideon Shoko, Tendai Sibanda, Anastasia Moyo, Joel Gabuzza, David Chimhini, Siphiwe Ncube, Felix Sibanda, Helen Zivira and Mativenga Madzikana, ZEC, CCC and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi were cited as respondents.
Justice Katiyo ruled that the 22 recalled legislators were not CCC candidates for election in Saturday’s by-elections.
“It is ordered that the decision of the Nomination Court sitting at Harare, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Lupane and/or any other location around the country on 7 November 2023 to accept the nomination papers and candidature of first to 22nd respondents for election in the by-elections set to be conducted on 9 December 2023 is unlawful, of no force and effect and hereby set aside,” ruled the judge.
“The first to 22nd respondents are not candidates for election in the by-elections scheduled to be conducted on 9 December 2023.”
Justice Katiyo ordered ZEC and Minister Ziyambi not to include the names of the recalled MPs and senators in the preparation of ballot papers to be used in the by-elections.
He also interdicted the recalled legislators from representing or holding themselves out to the general public and electorate in the constituencies concerned or any other place in Zimbabwe, whether physically or through any form of media, as candidates for election in by-elections.
“The first to 22 respondents, and 25th respondent (CCC) shall jointly and severally pay the applicants’ cost on the ordinary scale,” ruled Justice Katiyo.