The High Court of Zimbabwe has barred former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere from contesting as an independent presidential candidate in the upcoming harmonized election, stating that he did not meet the residency requirements stipulated in the electoral law.
Kasukuwere, currently exiled in South Africa, had filed his nomination papers in June intending to contest as a presidential candidate, for the first time in his career.
His candidacy was however challenged in the courts by Lawyer cum Zanu PF activist, Lovedale Mangwana on the grounds that the politician had been living outside Zimbabwe for more than 18 months and was ineligible to contest.
In a judgement delivered earlier today, High Court judge Justice David Mangota upheld Mangwana’s contention and disqualified the former minister from the race, saying that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had erred in approving his nomination.
Addressing the media soon after the ruling, Mangwana’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, said:
“This is what we have always contended that one of the qualifications of a candidate for the Presidential elections is that they ought to be registered as voter, and the law is that if you are not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe for at least 18 months, you are deemed to have ceased to be registered vote.
“And so, Mr Kasukuwere ceased, by operation of law, to be a registered voter and consequently ceased to qualify to run for the office of the President.”
A close ally of late former president Robert Mugabe, Kasukuwere was expected to draw his vote from the former ruler’s loyalists.
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