Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsSupreme Court Reinstates 12 CCC Candidates in Bulawayo

Supreme Court Reinstates 12 CCC Candidates in Bulawayo

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has reversed a High Court ruling that had blocked 12 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates from running for Parliamentary positions in Bulawayo.

This comes after CCC leader Nelson Chamisa had over the weekend declared that “there will be no elections” if his candidates were prevented from running in the party’s traditional stronghold.

The 12 CCC candidates and four others from smaller parties were thrown out of the race by the Bulawayo High Court, which ruled that they had filed their nomination papers after the 4PM deadline on June 21.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that their names should be restored on the ballot.

Justice Tendai Uchena, who presided over the case, indicated that the High Court had erred in its decision saying the main piece of evidence relied upon by the Zanu PF activists who had challenged the CCC candidates’ nominations was inadmissible.

“This is a unanimous decision of the court,” Justice Uchena said. “After carefully considering the matter, it is our decision that the appeals be and are hereby allowed with costs. The judgement of the court a quo (High Court) be and is hereby set aside.”

The judges went on to amend Justice Bongani Ndlovu’s controversial judgement which had allowed appeals by 12 Zanu PF activists styling themselves as “registered voters.”

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“The (High Court) applications are hereby dismissed with costs,” the new order reads.

Justices Uchena, Alfas Chitakunye and Hlekani Mwayera said the reasons for their judgement would follow.

The appeal by the CCC 12 was anchored on technicalities as their lawyers argued that the Zanu PF activists had approached the wrong court in the High Court, on a matter on which the Electoral Court has exclusive jurisdiction.

They also argued that the main piece of evidence relied upon, an unsigned document from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, was inadmissible as it was hearsay.

The lawyers also argued that the applications were fatally defective in that they gave the twelve candidates 48 hours to file their notice of opposition instead of ten days, against established rules of the court.

Unusually, the CCC candidates were supported by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which filed affidavits before the court, arguing that the candidates whose nominations were being challenged all met the 4PM deadline.

This judgement means that finance minister Mthuli Ncube (Cowdray Park), deputy industry minister Raj Modi (Bulawayo South) and Tendai Charuka (Bulawayo Central) – who would have all won unopposed – now have an election to prepare for with the restoration of their CCC challengers.

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