The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has withdrawn the notice of by-election vacancies for six National Assembly constituencies that were held by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members, including the party’s former president Tendai Biti before they were illegally recalled.
This comes after the High Court set aside the proclamation made declaring the seats vacant.
The court further ruled that the previous ruling nullifying the recall of the six MPs effectively stands despite an appeal that was made by former PDP members opposed to Biti and the five MPs.
In a notice on Tuesday evening, ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said there exists no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Pumula and Harare East National Assembly Constituencies. The notice read:
IT is hereby notified that, following a court order issued in the case of Kucacai Ivumile Phulu and 6 others vs Benjamin Rukanda and 7 others, Case No HCH 106/22, there exists no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Pumula and Harare East National Assembly Constituencies.
The Proclamation calling for by-elections issued by His Excellency the President in terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022 on 6 January 2022 is accordingly amended.
Nomination Courts for the purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election as members of the National Assembly for the said constituencies shall therefore not sit and there shall be no by-elections in the said constituencies.
Silaigwana also withdrew the notice of vacancy for Ward 3 of Bulawayo Municipality following an urgent chamber application challenging the existence of the vacancy. He said:
IT is hereby notified for general information that the declaration of a vacancy in Ward 3 of Bulawayo Municipality has been withdrawn by the local authority following an urgent Chamber Application challenging the existence of the vacancy.
The Nomination Court for the purpose of receiving nominations of candidates for election as Councillor for the said ward shall therefore not sit and there shall be no by-election in ward 3 of Bulawayo Municipality.
By-elections for more than 20 National Assembly constituencies and over 100 council seats will be held on 26 March this year.