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High Court Orders Removal Of Recalled CCC MPs From February By-elections Ballot Papers

4 months agoFri, 19 Jan 2024 16:06:08 GMT
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High Court Orders Removal Of Recalled CCC MPs From February By-elections Ballot Papers

High Court Justice Pisirayi Kwenda has given an order to remove the names of 23 opposition CCC Members of Parliament (MPs), including Amos Chibaya and Gift Ostallos Siziba, from the ballot papers for the upcoming by-elections set for 3 February. The judge ruled that these MPs are no longer CCC members and should not be allowed to run as candidates. He also expressed his displeasure with CCC lawyers for disregarding the court’s judgement.

The court heard arguments from both sides on 18 January 2024, and the judge reserved his judgment which he delivered on 19 January in the afternoon. The MPs in question were among several MPs and councillors who were recalled by Sengezo Tshabangu, the disputed CCC interim secretary-general. Tshabangu claimed that these individuals no longer belonged to the party.

The case arose when the recalled MPs filed to run in the by-elections under the CCC’s name. Tshabangu then took the matter to court, challenging the acceptance of their candidacy. His lawyer argued that there was a precedent of recalled members being disqualified from running in by-elections under the party that had recalled them.

After the ruling, CCC lawyer Obey Shava stated that he would consult with his client for further instructions. He noted that whether the recalled individuals will appear on the ballot for the February by-elections will depend on the legal actions taken by his client.

Journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu commented saying Nelson Chamisa should have either fielded candidates under a different party or supported ZAPU. He suggested that CCC’s decision to run independently allowed ZANU PF to gain ground in the elections. He said:

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Political parties are not in the habit of doing favours for other parties, but on reflection, CCC – with this predictable scenario – should have either fielded candidates under a different banner, or backed ZAPU. ZAPU retreated when CCC fielded. Now Zanu PF makes inroads in Byo.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that preparations for the by-elections are well underway, with training for Constituency Elections Officers currently taking place in Darwendale.

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