HARARE – Despite a controversial recall order, all the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates targeted earlier this year filed their nomination papers for re-election on Tuesday in a show of defiance against the interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu.
This comes in the wake of the recalls initiated by Tshabangu, who declared himself the interim secretary-general of the CCC.
A total of 14 MPs were affected by the recalls, nine of whom were directly elected.
Nomination courts convened in several provinces, including Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Harare, to elect nine national assembly representatives affected by the recall order.
Notably, no candidates from Douglas Mwonzora‘s MDC-T filed their nominations, and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), with strong roots in Matabeleland, saw its candidates successfully nominated.
While Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who had lost his bid to be elected in parliament under Zanu PF in August, did not file for nomination, the most significant event of the day was the clash between the CCC, led by Nelson Chamisa, and the faction led by Tshabangu.
In Bulawayo, the recalled CCC MPs, including Desmond Makaza, Eric Gono, Nichola Watson, Obert Manduna, and Pashor Raphael Sibanda, successfully filed their nomination papers.
Tshabangu’s faction also fielded candidates in these constituencies. Zanu PF will be represented in the by-elections as well.
In other constituencies, former MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda filed to regain his seat in Binga North under Citizens Coalition for Change.
In Lupane East, former MP Bright Vanya Moyo will contest for the seat. In Beitbridge West, recalled MP Morgan Ncube filed under CCC.
In Tafara-Mabvuku, recalled CCC legislator Febion M Kufahakutizwi launched a bid to recover his seat and will battle it out with gold dealer Pedzisayi ‘Scott‘ Sakupwanya.
Speaking to journalists, Kucaca Phulu, representing the Tshabangu group, defended the fielding of double candidates, citing the rifts within the Citizens Coalition for Change.
Tshabangu hinted at going to court to challenge the fielding of candidates he recalled.
The by-elections are scheduled for December 9, 2023.
The recalls had raised concerns within the Citizens Coalition for Change, which accused Tshabangu of being a Zanu PF operative sent to disrupt the opposition party.
Despite the rift, CCC members filed their nominations, setting the stage for a fierce battle in the upcoming by-elections.