Nqobile Tshili and Patrick Chitumba, Chronicle Reporters
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has nullified vacancies for six constituencies, including Nkulumane and Pumula as well as Bulawayo’s City Council Ward 3 since their status is being contested in court.
The constituencies and ward had been announced vacant following proclamation of the March 26 by-elections.
The Nomination Court sits around the country today for aspiring candidates to file their papers to participate in the polls.
Nearly 120 Local Government and 22 National Assembly seats are up for grabs in the coming by-elections.
The six constituencies became vacant after Mrs Lucia Matibenga’s People’s Democratic Party recalled members, who, however, contested their recall saying they belonged to the party led by Mr Tendai Biti.
The other constituencies are Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South and Harare East.
On the other hand, former Bulawayo deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami is still contesting his recall from council by the MDC-T.
In a statement yesterday, ZEC chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said since the cases are still being heard in court, by-elections will not be held in the constituencies and wards.
“It is hereby notified that, following a court order issued in the case of Kucaca Ivumile Phulu and six others vs Benjamin Rukanda and seven others, Case No HCH 106/22, there exists no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Pumula and Harare East National Assembly constituencies,” said Mr Silaigwana.
“The proclamation calling for by-elections issued by His Excellency the President in terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022 on 6 January 2022 is accordingly amended. Nomination Courts for the purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election as members of the National Assembly for the said constituencies shall therefore not sit and there shall be no by-elections in the said constituencies.”
He said the commission also received another notification that Bulawayo’s Ward 3 is also being contested in courts.
“It is hereby notified for general information that the declaration of a vacancy in Ward 3 of Bulawayo Municipality has been withdrawn by the local authority following an urgent chamber application challenging the existence of the vacancy.
The Nomination Court for the purpose of receiving nominations of candidates for election as councillor for the said ward shall therefore not sit and there shall be no by-election in Ward 3 of Bulawayo Municipality,” said Mr Silaigwana.
Meanwhile, Zanu-PF candidates, who recently won the ticket to represent the ruling party in by-elections in the Midlands province have vowed to retain the seats previously occupied by the party and reclaim those previously occupied by the opposition.
The nomination court will sit today in Gweru to register five candidates for Mkoba, Kwekwe, Mberengwa South and Gokwe Central constituencies and 13 candidates for local authority elections.
Zanu-PF recently held its primary elections in which five candidates were chosen to represent the political outfit in the National Assembly and 13 in local authorities
Cde Tasara Hungwe, Zanu-PF Mberengwa South Constituency National Assembly candidate said he was humbled to have been chosen to represent the ruling party in the forthcoming by-elections.
“It’s an honour to be confirmed as the party’s candidate for the by-election. As Mberengwa South, we were already working hard to ensure that the President gets the required five million plus votes,” he said.
Cde Hungwe said as the local leadership, they were already working together with council and Government departments to make most roads accessible through various road rehabilitation projects.
“This will continue and we are also making sure that some clinics are built through devolution funds while the people provide the necessary labour. We want the living standards of our people to improve,” he said.
Cde William Gondo, Zanu-PF Mkoba constituency National Assembly candidate, said: “It’s been a rough patch for the people of Mkoba under the opposition outfit. The results have been there for all to see. Roads with potholes and no clean water. Our message is simple: vote for Zanu-PF for development. We are ready this time to take over Mkoba.
People are fed up with voting for empty promises and we are also taking this opportunity to tell the people on the good works by our President Cde Mnangagwa, for 2023 we want to deliver.”
Article Source: The Chronicle