THIRTY-FIVE aspiring candidates for the House of Assembly and local government elections were yesterday given a lifeline after the Electoral Court sitting in Bulawayo ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to register them as bona fide candidates for the harmonised elections to be held on July 31.
The candidates drawn from Zanu PF, MDC-T, MDC and Zapu had thronged the courts with complaints after being disqualified by ZEC for either being unregistered voters or being nominated by people who were not on the voters’ roll, among other reasons.
Bulawayo High Court judges Justices Maphios Cheda, Martin Makonese and Lawrence Kamocha heard the matters.
The Electoral Court in its ruling in the 35 cases, upheld that the candidates be registered and set aside the decision of the nomination court to disqualify them.
Prominent among the candidates whose applications were granted, was Getrude Moyo, a Zapu senatorial candidate for Beitbridge, who was disqualified for being an unregistered voter.
Another was a lecturer at Joshua Mqabuko Technical College, Jastone Mazhale, an aspiring MDC-T candidate for Ward 7 Gwanda Central, who was disqualified after ZEC refused to accept his resignation letter and Janet Mpofu, a Zanu PF aspiring councillor for Ward 12 Lupane East.
Mpofu travelled 90km during the night to fetch her marriage certificate and failed to return before the nomination courts closed.
However, 25 of the aspiring candidates’ applications were dismissed for reasons the judges said would follow.
Hundreds of aspiring candidates were disqualified by nomination courts throughout the country for various reasons.
The deadline for appeals at the electoral court – a product of the new Constitution – expired last Tuesday.
MDC lodged at least 39 complaints from aspiring House of Assembly and local government candidates.
Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu had three appeals while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T also had three.
MDC candidates cited ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, ZEC and President Robert Mugabe as first, second and third respondents, respectively.
The MDC appeal covered all its aspiring candidates nationwide.
Sindiso Mazibisa, Lison Ncube, Kossam Ncube and Matshobana Ncube represented the candidates, while Nyika Kanengoni and Partners represented ZEC.