By-election chaos ensues as Nelson Chamisa’s CCC seeks justice in Supreme Court

CCC interim spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has announced its intention to appeal a recent High Court decision that prevented its candidates from participating in the upcoming by-elections on February 3.

In the ruling, the High Court ruled in favour of Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-imposed interim secretary-general, who sought to prevent CCC candidates endorsed by party leader Nelson Chamisa from running in the polls.

Tshabangu instigated the by-elections by recalling several CCC lawmakers and councillors who were elected in the August 23 to 24 elections last year. Tshabangu argued that the aspiring legislators and councillors were no longer members of the party and, therefore, could not run under the CCC banner. This was the same reason he cited for recalling the previously elected candidates.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) issued a notice on Tuesday declaring certain Zanu PF local government candidates as duly elected in light of the High Court ruling. However, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi disputed Zec’s action, stating that it was premature and misleading. Mkwananzi emphasized that the CCC still had time to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court as allowed by the law. He advised CCC candidates, voters, supporters, and the general public to continue with their campaigns and preparations as planned.

Mkwananzi called on Zec to maintain professionalism and impartiality while awaiting the outcome of the appeal. He expressed concerns about Zec’s credibility as an impartial electoral arbiter, which had already been questioned by the opposition, civil society, and electoral observer missions following the disputed general elections on August 23, 2023.

In Zec’s notice, the chief elections officer, Utloile Silaigwana, stated that Zanu PF candidates had been duly nominated in Chiredzi town council wards 6 and 7, Harare Municipality wards 5 and 18, and Manyame Rural District Council ward 7, based on the High Court ruling. Interestingly, Tshabangu did not field any candidates for the vacant seats.

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