Beat the Deadline: ZEC warns by-election candidates

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana has warned aspiring candidates who wish to run in the upcoming by-elections to ensure that they submit their papers in time before the close of the nomination court. 

Silaigwana was talking to CITE in an interview on the state of preparedness for the sitting of the nomination court set for Tuesday.

The by-elections were necessitated by the recalling of members of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) by Sengezo Tshabangu and they will be held on December 9, 2023.

In Bulawayo, the nomination court for local authority will sit at the council chambers while those for parliamentary seats will be held at Tredgold Magistrate’s Court. 

The recalled councillors are Ward 1 Clr 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. 

The vacant constituency seats are Bulawayo South, Cowdray Park, Lobengula-Magwegwe, Mpopoma-Mzilikazi, and Nketa. 

Silaigwana said the court will sit from 10 am to 4 pm and any papers that will be submitted after that time will not be accepted. 

“ZEC is ready, all the preparations will be ready by the end of the day today in terms of setting up and any other necessities. We encourage all those who wish to be nominated to submit their papers in time, not on time. This will help them to have enough time to make amendments or corrections that may be needed on their papers,” Silaigwana said. 

“The court will sit from 10 am to 4 pm and any aspiring candidate who wishes to submit their papers must do so within this time frame. No papers will be accepted after 4 pm. For one to be said to have successfully submitted their papers, they have to make sure that all the processes would have been finished.” 

Silaigwana said those who would not have made payments of their nomination fees beyond that time will not be accepted either. 

“This is from having the proper signatories on their papers up to payment of the nomination fees. If a candidate has not finished the processes by 4 pm, their papers will not be accepted. On the issue of payments, aspiring candidates must note that applications to attain money from the bank will not be considered as payments. You cannot say that the bank has said it will give you money and if you have not yet deposited it to the recommended account they would not be considered,” Silagwana said. 

“All the paperwork must be completed and all the money must be deposited before 4 pm. Aspiring candidates need to take important note of this. We also encourage them to conduct themselves in an orderly manner when they come to submit their papers, we are not expecting any chaos. We want the process to smooth sail and to be conducted successfully within the stipulated timeframe.” 

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