via Fight each other, court tells Zanu PF duo NewZimbabwe 06 May 2015
THE electoral court on Wednesday ruled that two rival Zanu PF candidates squabbling over the right to represent the ruling party in Harare East can both contest by-elections which have been scheduled for June 10.
In his ruling, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had no mandate to turn down nomination papers filed by authentic candidates.
The judge said Mavis Gumbo and Terence Mukupe should be allowed to stand on a Zanu PF ticket in Harare East, in a development that could split the ruling party’s support, further deepening factional fights.
Bhunu said since both candidates had their papers signed by authentic party leaders, the nomination court had no right to reject any of the two as it was not in its purview.
“The court finds the applicant eligible to stand as a Zanu PF candidate as he qualified to be such.
“The duty of the nomination court is not to determine who the authentic candidate is when such a dispute arises, but it is not to scrutinise papers filed if they were properly submitted and had all the requirements,” the Bhunu ruled.
When the nomination court sat to receive papers for candidates in the six constituencies left vacant by re-called MDC -T rebels, Zanu PF put forward two candidates for Harare East, a constituency previously held by Tendai Biti.
But the presiding officer at the nominations court rejected Mukupe’s papers.
This was after secretary for administration and local government minister, Ignatius Chombo, wrote a letter indicating Mukupe was disqualified and that Gumbo would represent the party.
Mukupe then appealed at the electoral court. He is said to be sponsored by Zanu PF political commissar and environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere while Gumbo has the backing of Chombo.
Gumbo had lost to Mukupe in the internal elections to represent Zanu PF.
After Wednesday’s ruling, Gumbo and her camp, according to sources at the High Court, were now pushing for fresh charges against Mukupe to force his disqualification.
But a Mukupe confidant told New Zimbabwe.com that they were determined to take the case to the party’s politburo and expose those “trying to undermine internal party democracy”.
“This is a fight and we are prepared to go as far as possible. We can’t allow the party to go into the hands of people like Gumbo with her chequered history of corruption and failure at PSMAS. It would be a shame if that happens,” said the source.