Six constituencies removed from by-election list

by | Jan 26, 2022 | Politics | 0 comments

Six constituencies removed from by-election list

Hosia Mviringi

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has suspended elections in six constituencies in the following a High Court challenge by one Kucacai Phulu.

Phulu`s challenge was disputing one Benjamin Rukanda`s locus standi to recall PDP members.

PDP is Tendai Biti`s breakaway party, created during the lawyer`s confrontation with Morgan Tsvangirai.

According to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission`s notice issued yesterday, the Court order has the effect of amending the Presidential decree which declared by-elections in 28 National Assembly seats and 105 Council vacancies.

“It is hereby notified that following a Court order issued in the case of Kucacai Ivumile Phulu and 6 others and Benjamin Rukanda and 7 others, Case number HCH 10622, there exist no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Phumula and Harare East National Assembly Constituencies,” said Mr Utoile Silaigwana who is ZEC Chief Executive Officer.

The Proclamation calling for by-elections issued by His Excellency, the President in terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022, on January 6, 2022, is accordingly amended”.

As a result of this suspension nomination courts in the affected constituencies for the purposes of receiving nominations for candidates will not be sitting.

The same Court order caused the withdrawal of notice of vacancy in Bulawayo’s Ward 3 and subsequently no by-elections will be held in that Ward.

A brief background to the story is that on May 8, 2019, the High Court of Zimbabwe under case number HH302/19 ruled that Nelson Chamisa’s attention to the helm of the MDC Alliance was unconstitutional, this giving the party leadership to Thokozani Khupe.

When Chamisa then went on to form another party at a Congress in Gweru, he triggered massive recalls of all party representatives who pledged allegiance to the Gweru project.

A total of 105 Council seats and 28 National subsequently became vacant following recalls while others were due to natural deaths.

The current court order to cancel by-elections came at the instigation of a clique in the People’s Democratic Party component of the MDC Alliance.

When the MDC Alliance instigated recalls took place, there was massive protest from the ousted faction of the PDP led by Mr Tendai Biti which challenged the legal atanding of the man Benjamin Rukanda who issued letters of recall to Parliament and Local Authority in Bulawayo.

Their argument is that Mr Rukanda in his personal capacity has legal standing to authorise Parliamentary and Council recalls.

Thus, Mr Kucacai Phulu and his team realised that if they let by-elections proceed as scheduled they may not have legal recourse thereafter.

In the meantime, Nomination Courts will sit in the remaining 22 National Assembly Constituencies and relevant Council Chambers to fill the remaining 104 vacant Council seats.