Thursday 22 June 2023


The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) almost had its parliamentary candidates and those on the party lists disqualified during Nomination Court as a result of its “strategic ambiguity” tactic not to publicly disclose its party candidates while administratively running party issues from Harare.

Party leader, Nelson Chamisa stated their tactic was to safeguard candidates and prevent infiltration by Zanu PF.

However, since candidates handed in their nomination forms at the last minute, having just received them from Harare, which was in charge of checking the nomination papers, the technique exposed CCC’s ‘poor’ preparation despite the fact that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) opened up the Nomination process at its district, provincial and headquarters offices on June 10, 2023.

According to party insiders who talked to CITE, various mishaps occurred, such as nomination forms and passport pictures disappearing when they returned from party leadership in Harare, as there were no attachments in some cases.

“It is administratively impossible even if CCC was an efficient organisation, you can’t gather nomination papers of thousands of people to Harare with attachments and expect them to return in good order. It is not going to happen. No one at the provincial level was in charge and people did not even know who the signatories were. It was a secret,” said the party members.

The party insiders said documents sent from Harare indicated one Stha Mlilo and Siphiwe Ncube as signatories, but when nomination papers were filed, it was discovered that Mlilo was not an authorised signatory.

“The authorised signatory was Greta Gumede who was in her home in Luveve. Now the candidates had to pull out the page of the unauthorised signature to have it filled by one of the authorised party official,” said the CCC disgruntled members who said there should have been provincial leadership to make sure nomination papers arrived at the respective places days before the Nomination Court sat.

However, the candidates did not have the necessary documentation, as evidenced at the  Nomination Court on Wednesday, when some of the CCC MP candidates who arrived in the morning were unable to file anything.

“Candidates did not even know if they were to fill new nomination papers. They did not know who the authorised signatories were because that information was classified. Now people had to rely on ZEC who told them who the signatories were,” said the party insiders.

The nomination forms were later brought in by outgoing Pumula MP and current candidate, Sichelesile Mahlangu after lunch.

Upon submission, ZEC Bulawayo Provincial Elections Presiding Officer, Innocent Ncube, pointed out the nomination forms of the 12 MP candidates had unauthorised signatures.

Ncube, who was in charge of the nomination process, questioned the CCC candidates why they brought in their papers late.

“It is those who come late who have their papers in order, if you are not sure about them, you must come early,” he said.

Ncube advised the candidates to collect new nomination forms, put proper signatures and submit the correct pages.

CCC then released a statement after making the corrections and acknowledged that their 12 MP candidates had experienced “some minor technical challenges.”

As a result of the late submission, the election agent representing CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba was only cleared to pay nomination fees well after midnight, around 00.50am.

CCC members were unaware of who had been picked to represent them, how the candidates themselves were anxious because they didn’t know if they had made it, and how there was tension when other potential candidates, such as Tichaona Mujati, were told to stand down.

When CCC tried to submit its party lists for PR and Senate, the party clashed with the presiding officer Ncube who stated that he was “not happy with their conduct as they were trying to mess up the process.”

CCC officials, with their lawyer present, had to plead their case and explain that they were not making new submissions since they were submitting after 11 pm but had been given the forms prior to making corrections.

“We were checking if the candidates’ papers were signed by the authorised signatories who were signing their nomination forms. If that was done, their papers would go through because we had names of those signatories, that is any of the two people authorised by the party to sign and there would be no ground to reject nomination papers,” Ncube said in an interview.

Meanwhile, several political parties such as MDC-T, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the Zimbabwean African National Congress (ZANC) also had challenges with submitting party lists. CITE


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