Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has refused to withdraw nomination papers from Sengezo Tshabangu endorsed CCC aspiring MPs.
This comes after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa wrote to the election commission barring the self-imposed ‘interim’ Secretary General’s candidates from using his face as party symbols.
Speaking to a local publication, ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Utoile Silaigwana said the electoral body will not take instructions from the CCC leader adding that the opposition outfit should address its internal squabbles.
Zimbabwe, which is being rocked by a wave of by-elections, is set to have a second round of polls on February 3 in Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Mkoba North, Chegutu West, Zvimba East, Seke and Goromonzi South constituencies.
The seats became vacant after Gift Ostallos Siziba, Stephen Chatiza, Madzimbamuto Tapfumanei, Admore Chivero, Mutasa Oliver and Chibaya Amos were recalled by self-imposed opposition Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu who cited they has ceased to be party members.
“If CCC has internal issues, they know where to go, they don’t come to us and give us directives. Otherwise, every other party will tell ZEC what to do and it will do so,” said Silaigwana.
The Chief Election Officer said ZEC as an independent body will not be sucked into factional disputes.
“Can you imagine a situation where ZEC acts after it is told what to do by every political party, it means ZEC will be taking sides.
“ZEC is independent and does not take sides. The perception that ZEC should solve internal issues of a political party should stop,” he added.
Recently, in a letter addressed to ZEC from Chamisa’s legal counsel, Shava Law Chambers, the CCC president revoked permission to use his party symbols by some members.
“We act for and on behalf of Advocate Nelson Chamisa, at whose instance we write. Kindly note our professional interest,” read the letter.
“Our client is the president of Citizens’ Coalition for Change political party formed on 22 January 2022.
We are advised that in June 2023, he gave consent to specific candidates from the political party he leads, to use his face image as a logo in the harmonized elections held between 23 and 24 August 2023.
“Those who were granted permission to use the image of his face had their nomination papers, as more fully appears in your records, signed by the names appearing in a letter dated 15 June 2023 and received by yourselves on the same day,” said Shava Law Chambers.
Chamisa’s lawyers said that some individuals had resorted to misappropriation of the image of the party leader for purposes of misrepresentation and misleading the electorate which according to the letter is illegal.