High Court dismisses Masarira case

Phillipa Jaja
The High Court has ruled against Linda Masarira, the president of Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD), in her appeal challenging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) decision to disqualify her from the presidential race.

The court’s verdict was based on her failure to meet the deadline for paying the required nomination fees.
Elisabeth Valerio, leader of the United Zimbabwe Alliance remains the sole woman presidential aspirant in a field of 11 men, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change.

Masarira who failed to pay Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) mandatory $20,000 nomination fees using the RTGS system due to limits within the banking system sought to override the decision demanding that she be included on the ballot as a presidential candidate so as to allow her to campaign.

These efforts were thwarted today.

“My application was dismissed with costs. The judge only read the operational part of the judgement. We will only get to know the reasons when we get a copy of the full judgement. The way forward will be determined after reading the full judgement. The struggle continues unabated!” she tweeted.

In the same vein, CCC’s divisive strategy has proved costly for them again after the Bulawayo High Court barred 12 of its MPs from participating in the August 23 elections after Justice Bongani Ndlovu ruled that they filed their nomination papers after the 4 PM deadline.

The ruling has dealt a huge blow to the CCC officials who have defended the action as a prevention against the proliferation of double candidates in all urban areas.

For starters, the leading contender Zanu-PF automatically retains the 12 seats in addition to some 53 local authority seats which were unchallenged at the close of the nomination court sittings.

Notable is that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is among Zanu PF candidates now elected unopposed.

Additionally, CCC can no longer have any representation in the Senate from Bulawayo province, or take up any youth and women’s quota seats in the National Assembly, where seats are allocated on the basis of proportional representation based on votes each party obtains in elections for National Assembly representatives.

“It also means the party is now denied a decent share of cash under the Political Parties (Finance) Act because that’s only determined by votes for National Assembly candidates,” lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku told a local publication.
The CCC’s legal team said it would appeal the judgement.

“We have taken note of the judgment of the High Court barring the CCC candidates from participating in the elections. We respectfully disagree with it and will be taking the necessary legal steps to ensure that elections are held. Candidates must continue with their work undeterred,” Advocate Thabani Mpofu said.

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