ZEC announces 12 vacant council seats in Bulawayo

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced 12 vacant local authority seats in Bulawayo following the recall of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors who no longer belong to the opposition party.

CCC recalled eight councillors on October 18 saying they were no longer members of the party while four others who were elected through a quota system were also recalled.

The party also recalled 15 members of the National Assembly, nine of whom held constituency seats. Following the recalls, President Mnangagwa has since proclaimed a by-election date for National Assembly members in line with the Electoral Act.

The President has set the Nomination Court for November 7 and election day for December 9. The same dates have been proclaimed nomination court and election date for local authority elections. 

The opposition party recalled Ward 1 councillor Shepherd Sithole, Ward 6 Clr Nkosinathi Hove Mpofu, Ward 9 Clr Donaldson Mabutho, Ward 18 Clr Takunda Madzana, Ward 20 Clr Simbarashe Dube, Ward 21 Clr Tinevimbo Maphosa, Ward 22 Clr Thobeka Moyo and Ward 24 Clr Arnold Batirai. CCC has further recalled Masvingo City Council, councillor Yeukai Chiwara. 

In a statement on Tuesday, ZEC chief elections officer Mr Utloile Silaigwana said announcing the vacancies is in line with Section 278 of the Constitution, which states that a seat of a local authority becomes vacant when an elected official ceases to be a member of a party that elected them.

“Whereas it is provided that upon being notified of a vacancy in terms of subsection (1) of Section 121 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) the Commission shall publish a notice in accordance with Section 121A (2) and whereas the Commission has received notification, in writing, of vacancies in two local authorities due to the recall of councillors who ceased to belong to the political party, which they were members when elected to the respective local authorities,” said Mr Silaigwana.

“And whereas the Commission has also received notification, in writing, of vacancies in various local authorities due to the death of councillors specified in the Second Schedule; now, therefore, the Commission hereby notifies the public of the vacancies that have so arisen as specified in the first and second Schedule.”

He said following the recalls of CCC councillors the public is notified that Nomination Courts for purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election as councillors for the vacant wards shall sit on Tuesday 7 November 2023 from 10am to 4pm.

In Bulawayo the Nomination Court will sit at the City Council Chambers in line with the law.

“The nomination courts shall sit at the places designated in the Third Schedule for the purposes of receiving nominations of candidates for election as councillors for the wards in the stated local authorities,” said Mr Silaigwana.

Apart from the recalled councillors, Mr Silaigwana said ZEC will also administer an election following local authority vacancies caused by deaths on the same date.

He said by elections will be held to elect a councillor to replace Golden Kapeta, a Zanu-PF councillor who died on October 1 and was representing Tongogara RDC Ward 22 in Midlands, as well as Zanu-PF councillor for Zibagwe RDC Cafemol Moyo who died on September 28 and CCC councillor for Zvishavane Town Council Ward 4 Cherita Mundoka.

Mr Silaigwana said vacancies have also arisen following the recalling of four quota system representation councillors for Bulawayo under the CCC ticket.

He said the affected councillors are Sarah Cronje, Tabeth Mhizha, Dorcas Sibanda and Zibusiso Tshongwe while Zanu-PF’s Rhoda Kunyongana from Makoni RDC withdrew from council.


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