CCC to appeal High Court ruling barring its candidates from Feb 3 by-elections

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of prematurely removing their candidates from the ballot ahead of the February 3 by-elections, asserting that they still have time to appeal.

ZEC disqualified 23 CCC candidates following a High Court ruling that them from contesting in the mini polls.

In a statement, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi said ZEC’s decision was premature and inaccurate. “We are still well within the stipulated timeline to lodge our appeal with the Supreme Court as provided for by the law,” said Mkhwananzi.

He urged the candidates to proceed with their campaigns, as the party plans to appeal within the stipulated timeframe.

“We are going to lodge the appeal within the stipulated timeframe, and our candidates, voters, supporters, and members of the public are advised to forge on with their campaigns and preparations as planned and scheduled.”

Mkwananzi called on ZEC to uphold the highest level of professionalism, independence, and objectivity. “We do not expect the electoral management body to recklessly jump the gun in matters of such national significance, as this further diminishes ZEC’s already questioned standing as a credible arbiter in national electoral contestations.”

However, a legal practitioner who commented on condition of anonymity stated that ZEC acted accordingly.

“When a court order is issued, it is binding and must be respected by all parties concerned. If one of the parties is unhappy with that judgment, what they need to do is file their notice of appeal.”

He emphasized that CCC’s argument claiming they are within time to note an appeal doesn’t hold water, as what sustains the operation of the judgment is the actual noting of the appeal.

“The most likely thing that would happen is the people who applied for that order will make an urgent application to say the order must be enforced despite the noting of the appeal, but they can’t do that if there is no noting of the appeal which has taken place, what triggers any action relating to that is the actual noting of the appeal, if there is no noting of the appeal, then ZEC is acting correctly by removing what the court order is saying so, they can only stop removing them if an appeal has been noted but one of the things that will be interesting, if ZEC them and they note their appeal, what they will be doing is to then make an application to reinstate the names of the candidates,” said the lawyer. 

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