CCC trashes ZEC’s ‘premature’ announcement of unopposed victory for Zanu PF; plans appeal against High Court decision


HARARE – In the latest development in Zimbabwe’s muddied political waters, the beleaguered opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), under Nelson Chamisa, has dismissed as “false, inaccurate, misleading, and premature” the pronouncement by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) earlier today which declared ZANU PF candidates as duly elected councillors unopposed for the upcoming by-elections slated for February 3, 2024. 

CCC Chamisa and Tshabangu by elections live news today
Sengezo Tshabangu and Nelson Chamisa [ZimSphere/File Photo]

ZEC released the statement on Tuesday against the backdrop of the nomination of CCC local authority by-elections candidates having been set aside following a court ruling last week that barred CCC candidates from the Chamisa faction from contesting in the by-elections under the CCC banner. 

ZEC made the statement declaring Zanu PF candidates as the uncontested winners pursuant to a High Court judgment under case number HCH197/24 delivered last week which barred CCC candidates from the Chamisa faction from contesting in the by-elections on the basis that they had ceased to be party members following their recalls by self-imposed Secretary General of CCC Sengezo Tshabangu last year. 

However, the CCC released a statement later in the day dismissing ZEC's decision to declare ZANU PF councillors as the unpossessed winners as “misleading and premature”, saying that the party was desirous of appealing the High Court ruling for a more favourable outcome. 

“(CCC) wishes to inform members of the public that the statement by the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) alleging that our candidates have been barred and therefore Zanu PF candidates have been duly elected following the high court ruling of the 19th of January 2024 are false, inaccurate, misleading and premature,” the curt statement, signed off by the party spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi, read. 

“We are still well within the stipulated timeline to lodge our appeal with the Supreme court as provided for by law.

“We are going to lodge the appeal within the stipulated timeframe and our candidates, voters, supporters and members of the public are advised to forge on with their campaigns and preparations as planned and scheduled.”

The party exhorted ZEC to desist from jumping to conclusions – and to conduct itself in an impartial manner so as to protect its already-tainted reputation. 

“We urge the Zimbabwe Election Commission to endeavor acquit itself with  the highest level of professionalism, independence and objectivity.

“We do not expect  the electoral management body to recklessly jump-the-gun in matters of such national significance as this further diminishes ZEC’s already questioned standing as credible arbiter in national electoral contestations.”

Despite being recalled from the party, the CCC-Chamisa candidates went to the Nomination Court and filed their names under the CCC banner for the February 3 by-elections. 

Tshabangu then made a court application in which he sought the recalled CCC candidates to be barred from contesting in the upcoming by-elections under the CCC banner. The High Court of Zimbabwe upheld the application. 

The Zanu PF councillors who won uncontested as per ZEC’s statement are Costen Mombe, Nyashadzashe Mahiya, Abdurraman Sapa, Daniel Matsika, and Simbarashe Ngarande.

The CCC candidates whose nomination was set aside and thus not allowed to contest include former Harare Mayor Ian Makone, Kuziva Haparare, Musingashari Musingashari, Roger Chikonye and Samuel Gwenzi. 

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