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'Tshabangu's efforts to bar recalled candidates will fail'

by Staff reporter
04 Dec 2023 at 17:18hrs | Views
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says Sengezo Tshabangu's efforts to bar its recalled candidates from contesting under the CCC banner will fail because their representatives were successfully nominated and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has already printed the ballot papers for the December 9 by-elections.

Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed CCC interim secretary general, filed an application alleging that all recalled CCC Parliament, Senate, and Council candidates who had successfully filed their nomination papers during the Nomination Court's sitting on November 7 had ceased to be members of the CCC and could not represent the same party in the by-elections.

However, the CCC spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba, confidently said Tshabangu's efforts would fail because ZEC had already printed ballot papers and the December 9 by-election would proceed with the names of their representatives.

"We have communicated politically that our political decision is not going to accept an election without our people. I can't go into issues of strategy, but I can tell you we're not going to accept in black and white - an election on the ninth of December without the legitimate candidates of CCC," he said in an interview on the sidelines of a CCC rally in Magwegwe North on Sunday.

Siziba said the recalled CCC candidates were nominated procedurally and were the legitimate leaders of the opposition.

"More importantly, you know ZEC has printed the ballots. So it is not possible for the courts to wake up tomorrow and say ‘oh.' That's Zanu-PF agenda. Zanu cannot wake up and want to go into this election without the representation of the people. That will not be an election and we are not going to accept that," noted the spokesperson.

ZEC said it has already printed 99 150 ballot papers with a 6.6% contingency, exceeding the number of eligible voters for the local authority by-elections, which stands at 93 016.

Siziva added that CCC has also taken Tshabangu to court to challenge his claims.

"That's why the party now has to end all this madness and make sure that we protect our organisation and protect our people. The question is, why are we exhausting judicial remedies? It is because we're a constitutional party," he said.

Siziba stated the CCC recalled candidates will defeat both Zanu-PF and Tshabangu's candidates.

"We are going to punish Zanu-PF. This is not about Tshabangu, it's about the Zanu-PF agenda whose intention and objective is to punish the people, particularly those of Bulawayo and more importantly, to get two-thirds without the mandate of the people, so we are going to resist that," he said.

He added: "On December 9, 2023 the first political statement we will make is to make sure Tshabangu and Zanu-PF lose this election. I am not a prophet but a student of modern scientific thought. They are going to attempt to rig people, they are barring us, causing chaos, funding people to even harass some of us and even harass journalists for that matter. But we're going to punish them on the ninth."

Siziba also claimed Tshabangu's recalls aided and exposed Zanu-PF's plot to destroy the opposition.

"Whatever you see is an offspring of symptoms of a broad national crisis of a contested leadership question in our country. So the recalls are the only manifestation of that crisis," he claimed.

"The madness by Tshabangu is an indictment on the leadership of the country because it demonstrates a State that abdicated its responsibility and handed it over to a mad person. The mad person is wreaking havoc and chaos in the entire body politics of our country, costing US$ 5 million of taxpayers' money that is to be officially spent by ZEC only in this by-election."

According to the CCC spokesperson, the courts were also not assisting the political situation because they had been "captured by the powers that be."

"We expect the court to abide by the rules of the land. The court must not entertain impostors but it must protect the people. An example is a ruling made on December 1 where the judiciary said our case (appealing against Tshabangu's recalls) was dismissed on technicalities," Siziba said

"I will remind you that in the Bulawayo 12 MPs case, the same lawyer raised questions of technicalities and the High Court said the matter was of grave constitutional importance so cannot be dismissed without hearing the merits. It is on that basis the court protected some of us and returned us to the race during August 23. But we are back today because they know Tshabangu cannot win this case on merits."

Tshabangu, according to Siziva has no mandate from the CCC, nor the historical knowledge of the formation of the CCC including its standing.

"Tshabangu lacks the ideological impetus and the strategic direction that the CCC holds and the Secretary General position by its nature of the definition must be conscious about these things but nonetheless, we are in this crisis. The sad reality is that we are causing pain to taxpayers," said the CCC spokesperson.

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