Tuesday 16 January 2024


High Court case to expunge 23 recallees from ballot paper on February 3 February bu-elections set for tomorrow.

The Urgent Chamber Application by CCC and its interim secretary general, Sengezo Tshabangu, to have the names of three MPs and 20 Councillors, who were recalled last November, removed from the ballot paper for the by-elections to be held on 3 February 2024; has been set down for hearing and determination by the High Court in Harare tomorrow, Wednesday, 17 January 2024 at 10:00 hrs.

The three MPs are Amos Chibaya [former MP for Mkoba North], Gift Siziva [former MP, Pelandaba-Tshabalala] and Stephen Chagwiza [former MP, Goromonzi South]. A prominent name among the 20 Councillors is former Harare Mayor, Ian Makone, who was Ward 18 Councillor in the capital city.

According to the urgent chamber application, the 23 respondents illegally presented their nomination papers at the Nomination Court for the 3 February 2024 by-elections, which sat on 18 December 2023, under the same ticket of the very same political party that recalled them in the first place.

The case of the respondents is manifestly weakened by the fact that there is already a High Court judgment by Justice Never Katiyo which, on the basis of similar facts, expunged the names of recalled MPs from the ballot paper for the by-elections held on 9 December 2023.

It is precisely because of that judgment that other recalled Chamisa party MPs and Councillors are contesting the 3 February 2024 by-elections as independent candidates.

The 23 chose to be stubborn. Well, you get stubborn and find out.

Claims that the case set down for tomorrow cannot proceed or is doomed because Justice Katiyo’s judgment was appealed in the Supreme Court are hollow and futile, first because there is actually no valid appeal in the Supreme Court. Second, the declaratory order granted by Justice Katiyo affected the only the respondents in that particular case, as it was not of general application.

It’s clear that the 23 respondents in the case set for tomorrow stubbornly decided to contest under the ticket of the same party that recalled them play politics, only as a vain political ploy to intimidate the party that recalled them, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] and the courts.

While they apparently succeeded to intimidate ZEC, they clearly have not succeeded to do the same to the party that recalled them; and there is no chance in heaven that they can intimidate the court.

False bravado does not work in legal matters.

Anyhow, things have come to a head, the matter will be heard tomorrow, and it’s up to the court to decide.

Meanwhile, there is no prize for guessing that if the respondents lose, and despite the fact that their case is hopeless ab initio, they will nevertheless do their now predicable political dance with political claims that the judiciary is captured blah blah blah.

That's the way things have become Prof Jonathan Moyo was writing on X


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