Political drama unfolds: CCC recalls spark tension, independent fighters emerge

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

Recalled CCC members to contest by-elections as independents amidst threats

In a bold move, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has announced that its recalled legislators and councillors will file papers today to contest the upcoming by-elections as independent candidates.

This decision comes in response to threats of further recalls by self-proclaimed CCC Secretary General, Sengezo Tshabangu. The nomination court is set to convene today to confirm the candidates who will be vying for seats in the six constituencies that became vacant following the recalls instigated by Tshabangu.

The constituencies where the by-elections will be held are Pelandaba, Goromonzi South, Seke, Chegutu West, Zvimba East, and Mkoba North. The nomination court sessions will take place at Tradegold Building in Bulawayo, Marondera Magistrates Court, Chinhoyi Magistrates Court, and Gweru Magistrates Court.

During the recent by-elections held last week to fill other vacant seats, recalled CCC members were barred from participating after Tshabangu approached the High Court, challenging their inclusion. Tshabangu argued that the recalled MPs could not contest under the CCC banner as they had been expelled from the party. The High Court ruled in Tshabangu’s favour, delivering the verdict in the middle of the night on the eve of the elections.

In response to these developments, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi stated that their candidates will now contest the upcoming by-elections as independent candidates. Mkwananzi emphasized that the CCC remains under the leadership of Advocate Nelson Chamisa and expressed confidence in their ability to secure victory.

The ownership of the CCC has been a subject of contention, with multiple court cases in progress since its unveiling by Chamisa last year, following his fallout with his former ally-turned-opponent, Douglas Mwonzora, who took control of the MDC party. Recently, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) cancelled a gazetted by-election in Victoria Falls following Tshabangu’s orders. Tshabangu had initially recalled four CCC Victoria Falls councillors, but later reversed his decision, prompting ZEC to cancel the by-elections scheduled for February 3.

ZEC deputy chairperson Rodney Simukai Kiwa defended the decision, stating that it was based on a letter from the town clerk of Victoria Falls, explaining that the recall had occurred due to an error. However, legal experts argued that the move was irregular and unconstitutional, as there are specific protocols to be followed before cancelling elections.

Lawyer Dumisani Dube criticized ZEC’s actions, stating that it violated administrative rights, the constitution, the Administrative Justice Act, and the Electoral Act. Another lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu, pointed out the inconsistency in ZEC’s conduct compared to previous by-elections, emphasizing that Tshabangu’s claimed error did not grant ZEC the authority to cancel the by-elections unilaterally.

As the CCC prepares to contest the by-elections independently, the political landscape in these constituencies is set for further competition and intrigue. The outcomes of these elections will undoubtedly have implications for the parties involved and the constituents they seek to represent.

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