Elections: 7 vie for top job

ZANU PF Presidential candidate for the 2023 harmonised elections President Mnangagwa arrives at the Nomination Court accompanied by Vice President Chiwenga and his chief elections agent who is also Minister of Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi in Harare yesterday.

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday humbly submitted himself to the Constitution as he visited the Nomination Court that sat at the High Court in Harare to check on his papers that had already been filed and duly accepted to make him one of the candidates for the Presidential poll on August 23.

As a demonstration of the country’s maturing democracy, a multiplicity of parties and candidates made their submissions at the nomination courts that sat countrywide.

ZANU PF Presidential candidate for the 2023 harmonised elections President Mnangagwa accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his chief elections agent Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi follow proceedings at the Nomination Court at the High Court in Harare yesterday. –  Pictures: Kudakwashe Hunda.

By close of the Nomination Court yesterday, seven candidates had successfully filed their papers to stand on the presidential ballot.

The country will in August hold harmonised elections to elect the President, Members of Parliament and councillors and yesterday nomination courts sat around the country to receive credentials from the three tiers of Government.

At the High Court, the Nomination Court was receiving credentials of presidential candidates, while prospective MPs and provincial council members submitted their papers at the Provincial Magistrates Court. It was also a hive of activity at local council authorities, both rural and urban, where aspiring councillors were submitting their documents.

President Mnangagwa, the pollsters’ favourite to win the Presidential election race, told journalists after visiting the Nomination Court in Harare that Zimbabwe’s democracy had come of age.

President Mnangagwa leaves the Nomination Court accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga  in Harare yesterday.

“I came over here to honour the work that they (Nomination Court) are doing to show that I submit myself to the constitutional process and I have been told that my papers have gone through very well. So far I understand there are so many citizens who are standing for the Presidential post, some have been cleared, some are in the process of being cleared and so far I am told that countrywide the process is going very well. I am happy that Zimbabwe is now a mature democracy.”

For the Presidential ticket — the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was asking for US$20 000 or equivalent in local currency, but some like Ms Linda Masarira, the leader of LEAD, were not happy with the amount and it was unclear last night if she had managed to successfully file her papers before the close of the Nomination Court.

“A special thank you to my Cdes and friends who assisted with funds. Having everything in place and ready for payment, I faced a new challenge of bank limits.

“The presiding officer is saying her hands are tied, and payment is strictly in USD cash or ZW cash or transfer. Now I am prejudiced against having my local currency being limited to ZW$2 500 000 per month, which I can Zipit and the limit for swipe is ZW$1 500 000. Zec is saying I can’t do an RTGS transfer because they need the money by midnight today (yesterday),” she said.  

MDC-T leader Mr Douglas Mwonzora also submitted his papers and was upbeat of his prospects in the August 23 elections.

A modest Professor Lovemore Madhuku of the NCA party, who was at the High Court earlier, said his party will be fielding candidates in 10 constituencies where they have a chance to win.

“We fielded 10 MPs and several councillors, for us we are a party that is growing. It means we had to raise US$30 000, $20 000 presidential and US$10 000 Members of Parliament,” said Prof Madhuku.

CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, whose party has been dogged by controversy in the candidate selection process, and which yesterday fielded double candidates, was not confident whether his party had deployed councillors in rural wards. “Hopefully all the rural district councils have councillors, assuming that we receive reports from the country. We paid everything that is required, that is why we have successfully filed our nomination papers,” said Mr Chamisa after visiting the High Court.

Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development (ZCPD) president Mr Trust Chikohora, who was also at the High Court in Harare, said he is ready to contest for the country’s top job.

“We had filed our papers for presidency on Saturday and we were awaiting confirmation, today it has been confirmed that our nomination is duly accepted so Trust Chikohora will be running for President of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Another candidate to file his papers was Mr Harry Peter Wilson of Bulawayo who told reporters at the High Court in the capital that he is giving the presidency a shot because he has new ideas.

Self-exiled former Zanu PF member, Mr Saviour Kasukuwere, who reportedly has two warrants of arrests hanging over his head, also submitted his nomination papers through his chief elections officer Ms Jacqueline Sande.

“The nomination has been accepted, we filed successfully, he is going to come and campaign for himself,” said Ms Sande.


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