Self-imposed CCC interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu strikes again

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

CCC interim secretary-general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu has struck again after filing a High Court application seeking to bar 23 candidates from using the party name in the by-elections slated for February 3, further escalating the uncertainty and turmoil surrounding the party’s future.

The 23 recalled candidates, include deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba who was legislator for Pelandaba-Tshabalala, stubbornly filed their nomination papers under the CCC, defying an earlier order by the High Court that prohibited recalled CCC MPs from running for office in by-elections under the party banner.

In his application filed last Friday, Tshabangu cited Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to exclude 23 candidates from ballot papers, arguing that the candidates had ceased to be CCC members.

Tshabangu also argues that the candidates who were recalled last year, have not been re-admitted to the party, hence they should not contest under the CCC banner.

“The application is made on the grounds that: On the 18th of December 2023, the Nomination Court sat consequent upon promulgation of the date for by-elections set down on the 3rd of February 2024.

“First to twenty-third respondents submitted their nomination papers before the Nomination Court to be accepted as candidates in the by-election as ‘members’ of a political party called Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC party.

“This was despite the fact that in a prior and extant judgment, they had been found by this court to have ceased to be members of that party. The Nomination Court accepted the nomination papers,” Tshabangu argued.

Last year, Tshabangu contested at the High Court and won the challenge ahead of the December 9 by-election which resulted in 22 candidates being removed from the ballot.

However, unlike the previous by-elections, some former CCC members filed their nomination papers as independent candidates for the upcoming elections.

They did this to avoid disqualification, since they were previously prohibited from running under the CCC name.

Unlike at the sitting of the nomination court for the December 9 by-elections, some recalled CCC members filed their papers as independent candidates for the February 3 by-elections to avoid being disqualified.

This was in sharp contrast to the strategy taken by Nelson Chamisa’s close allies to defiantly file nomination papers under the banner of the same CCC party that recalled them to participate in the previous by-elections.

Former Chegutu West Member of Parliament Admore Chivero, Oliver Mutasa, who was Zvimba East lawmaker and Denford Ngadziore have been spared from the latest legal battle after filing their nomination papers as independent candidates.

This means that they will not be contesting the by-elections under the CCC name, and the party’s legal disputes surrounding their candidacy will not apply to them.

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