FOUR candidates will challenge Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia in the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, after they submitted their nomination papers to contest the seat yesterday.
Announcing the candidates at the nomination court in Gweru, provincial elections officer Dorcas Mpofu said there was going to be a by-election for the Chirumanzu- Zibagwe seat since more than one candidate successfully submitted their papers.
The candidates who will battle it out are Auxillia (Zanu PF), Munashe Mutodza (National Constitutional Assembly), Abigail Rumbidzai Musambasa (Transform Zimbabwe), Gadzamoyo Dehwa (Good People’s Movement) and an independent Chawaona Wilbroad Kanoti.
“Because we have more than one candidate, it means there is going to be a by-election on March 27,” Mpofu said.
Speaking after announcements by the nomination court, Zanu PF provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mpereri said his party would not face any challenge from the contesting candidates.
“This is a democracy, that’s why you saw every Tom, Dick and Harry with or without shoes coming with his or her papers so that the people could choose whom they want to represent them,” he said.
“We have parties which in marketing terms I would call no-names, that is what we saw today.”
True to their word, the MDC, MDC-T and MDC-Renewal, who indicated they would not contest the by-elections until electoral reforms were put in place, did not field candidates at the nomination court.
Meanwhile, MDC-T yesterday filed a Constitutional Court challenge seeking to nullify proceedings of the nomination courts to receive nominations of parliamentary candidates for the Mt Darwin West and Chirumanzi-Zibagwe constituencies, arguing that the process was flawed.
Party spokesman Obert Gutu said the MDC-T national executive met in Harare and resolved to launch the legal challenge after noting that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had failed to conduct voter registration for new voters and did not have control of the voters’ roll.
“We filed an urgent court application through our lawyer, Chris Mhike, seeking the nullification of the sitting of the nomination court,” he said.
The two seats fell vacant following the elevation of Mnangagwa and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru to the presidium.
The MDC-T and Zapu have ruled out participation in the by-elections slated for March 27 this year demanding electoral and media reforms to even the playing field.