Joy as Zanu PF secures 5 seats, takes commanding lead in by-elections

File pic: Zanu PF youths

ZANU PF has already secured five wards ahead of the February 3, 2024, by-elections after the High Court nullified the nomination of 23 recalled National Assembly and local authority CCC candidates.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chief elections officer, Mr Utloile Silaigwana said candidates from the ruling party in five wards remained the only duly nominated after the High Court upheld a challenge by CCC interim secretary general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu to bar the recalled candidates from participating in the polls to be held next week.

“The public is hereby informed that following a High Court Order issued on January 19, 2024, under Case No. HCH197/24, the nomination of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party candidates specified in Schedule 1 below who had been nominated for election in by-elections scheduled for February 3, 2024, has been set aside,” reads the statement.

“Consequently, the public is hereby notified, in terms of section 125 (4) (a) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], that since only one candidate has been duly nominated for each of the specified vacant wards, the persons specified in Schedule 2 below have been duly elected a members of the local authorities with effect from February 3, 2024.”

Names of CCC members whose candidature was withdrawn are Mr Musingashari Musingashari and Mr Roger Chikonya of Ward 6 and 7 respectively in Chiredzi Town Council, Mr Samuel Gwenzi and Ian Makoni of Ward 5 and 18 respectively in Harare municipality and Innocent Kuziva Haparari of Ward 7 in Manyame RDC.

As a result, Mr Costen Mombe (Ward 6 Chiredzi Town Council) Brighton Mahiya (Ward 7 Chiredzi Town Council, Abdurrahman Supa (Ward 5 Harare Munipality) Daniel Rufaro Matsika (Ward 5 Harare Municipality) and Simbarashe Ngarande (Ward 7 Manyame RDC), all of Zanu PF were duly elected.

Last week, the High Court upheld a challenge by Mr Tshabangu to have recalled CCC candidates barred from participating in the by-elections under the name of the party given that they had been deemed to have ceased to be members of that party.

The confirmation of five Zanu PF candidates as winners comes as ZEC has said everything is now in place for the February 3 by-elections.

At the weekend, the election management body said it had begun printing ballots on Saturday, while training of officials to run the elections is currently underway.

At least 230 000 ballot papers for the National Assembly elections will be printed and 144 000 will be printed for the local authorities’ polls.

ZEC will also establish 552 polling stations.

The electoral body also revealed that the decrease in the number of candidates on the ballot papers will result in a reduced cost to the initially budgeted figure of US$6 million.

ZEC vice chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa told The Herald that after the resolution of legal cases that were before the courts, everything was now set for the by-elections.

Ambassador Kiwa appealed to registered voters, where elections will be held, to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Herald.

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