All Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates who were targeted for a controversial recall order early last month filed nomination papers for re-election Tuesday in open defiance of self-styled party interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu who initiated their ouster.
The eventful day also saw Tshabangu field his own candidates under the CCC banner.
The nomination court sat in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Harare provinces to elect nine national assembly representatives who were affected by the recall order.
The nine were substantive MPs elected directly through the ballot while the others were beneficiaries of the proportional representation dispensation.
The recalls affected 14 MPs.
Other notable developments of the day were the absence of candidates from Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T, which failed to win a single seat during by-elections held March last year and harmonised elections this year.
ZAPU, a party with strong roots in Matabeleland, also saw candidates successfully file for nomination.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who lost his first ever bid to be elected in parliament under Zanu PF in August, did not file for nomination.
But the story of the day centred on the duel between the CCC party led Nelson Chamisa and the Tshabangu led faction.
In Bulawayo, the recalled MPs namely Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Eric Gono (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Nichola Watson (Bulawayo South), Obert Manduna (Nketa) and Pashor Raphael Sibanda (Cowdray Park) successfully filed their papers.
Tshabangu also fielded his candidates in these constituencies, namely, Charles Moyo (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Tendai Nyathi (Lobengula-Magwegwe), James Sithole (Bulawayo South), Ambrose Sibindi (Nketa) and Vusumuzi Chirwa (Cowdray Park).
Zanu PF will be represented by Dzingai Kamamba (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Menziwa Dube (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Raj Modi (Bulawayo South), Albert Mavhunga (Nketa), and Arthur Mujeyi (Cowdray Park).
Former MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda also filed to regain his seat in Binga North under CCC.
He will be challenged by Judith Sibanda (CCC) and Chineka Muchimba (Zanu PF).
In Lupane East, former MP Bright Vanya Moyo (CCC) will contest for the seat with David Nyathi (CCC) and Phathisiwe Machangu (Zanu PF).
Recalled Beitbridge west constituency MP, Morgan Ncube also filed under CCC.
In Tafara-Mabvuku constituency, recalled CCC legislator Febion M Kufahakutizwi launched a bid to recover his seat and will battle it out with gold dealer Pedzisayi ‘Scott’ Sakupwanya, who lost to the same opponent in August.
Tshabangu did not field a candidate in Tafara-Mabvuku.
Speaking to journalists at the Bulawayo nomination court Tuesday, former CCC legislator Kucaca Phulu, representing the Tshabangu group, defended double candidate fielding saying this was influenced by closed avenues of voicing discontent under Chamisa’s leadership in CCC.
“What is apparent today is that you have double candidates who have filed under the CCC party and that indicates that there are fissures within that party and fissures are an opportunity for people to reach out to each other and engage and iron out whatever it is that is causing those rifts so that an organisation may move forward,” he said.
Tshabangu, on his part, also hinted on going to court to challenge the fielding of candidates he recalled.
He vowed to use Chamisa’s face as the symbol of his party insisting it was not a private but a party insignia.
Reports indicate the recalled CCC MPs have also filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the High Court decision Saturday to dismiss their bid to reverse the recalls.
Accused of being a Zanu PF front sent to destroy CCC, Tshabangu initiated the shock recalls last month claiming the affected members had ceased to be members of the main opposition.
The by-elections are set for December 9 this year.
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