ZEC Rejects MDC-T’s application for 87 MPs’

Review & Mail Writer

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) faced a major setback in their attempts to secure registration for their eighty-seven MPs when the nomination court rejected their application due to unpaid nomination fees.

In response, Tawanda Kanengoni, a lawyer representing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), clarified that the proper procedure for dissatisfied candidates was to individually file an appeal with the Electoral Court within four days, rather than seeking resolution as a party or through an urgent chamber application.

“The application cannot be entertained by this court. The application is made by the MDC-T. It’s not made by a candidate. The party has no right to challenge the nomination of candidates. All 87 of these persons that are mentioned have concurrently filed an appeal before this court and it is pending. One would then wonder why the applicants who demonstrate full understanding would pursue the current application and ask this court to sit twice to determine the same issues,” said Kanengoni.

The MDC-T, represented by Lovemore Madhuku, had maintained that the matter was properly before the judge, arguing that “we know in terms of the Electoral Act that there are candidates and sponsoring parties.”

“Here you have a political party and the route that they have taken is properly provided for. The Electoral Court must deal with all matters. The right of appeal does not take away other rights of access to this court. Section 161 of the Electoral Act says that this court cannot try criminal cases. That exclusion must be the only exclusion that is allowed in this court. The political party can approach this court,” Madhuku argued.

Apparently, eight seven of the MDC – T’s candidates were rejected by the nomination courts after party employed a system of centralized payment by paying for all the candidates in one transaction instead of candidates paying as individuals just like other parties.

Aspiring candidates who are vying for MP posts were required to pay US$1 000 or equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC – T) spokesperson Witness Dube revealed that their party’s  nomination hit the brick wall in court.

“Our candidate nomination issue has not succeeded in court. We maintain a little bit of hope because there is another court process initiated, but we have to concede that our chances of rescuing the situation are diminishing.”

“We disagree strongly with how ZEC has dealt with our matter. But with the benefit of hindsight, one must say that perhaps if our candidates had money on them, or means to pay as individuals on the day, we would not be having this problem. It’s an important lesson for our party and our leaders that matters like these must be dealt with in a much, much better way next time.”

Zimbabweans vote in general elections on August 23. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said it intends to publish final list of candidates by June 30.

Zimbabwe is set to hold the national elections on 23 August with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) working around the clock to publish the final list of candidates by 30 June.

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