Gift Siziba defies court order, files nomination papers under CCC

The recalled Member of Parliament for Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Gift Ostallos Siziba, Monday, filed his nomination papers under the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) defying a previous High Court ruling that barred recalled CCC MPs from contesting by-elections under the party name.

Two weeks ago, the High Court granted an order requested by Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim secretary-general of the CCC barring the party’s recalled candidates from running in the December 9 by-elections under the CCC banner.

As a result, five of the recalled MP CCC candidates in Bulawayo did not run in the by-elections, but the council candidates did, and some won despite the risk of having their election annulled. 

There was some speculation that Siziba would file as an independent candidate to avoid the scrutiny of the High Court, but his candidature at the Nomination Court on December 18, 2023, in Bulawayo means there will be double candidates contesting for the Pelandaba-Tshabalala constituency after Moreblesisng Tembo, another CCC candidate was also successful in her nomination.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Nomination Court Presiding Officer, Sithembiso Khupe confirmed this at the Nomination Court sitting in Room 17 at the Tredgold Magistrates Court in Bulawayo, where she announced that only four candidates had successfully filed their nomination papers.

According to Khupe, the four candidates are Yona Abraham Nkomo of the Democratic Opposition Party (DOP), Gift Siziba of the CCC, Moreblessing Tembo of the CCC, and Joseph Tshuma of Zanu PF.

Tembo’s candidacy is supported by Tshabangu who has been making the recalls citing that the recalled CCC members were imposed on the public.

The Nomination Court meeting on Monday was held in preparation for the upcoming Pelandaba-Tshabalala by-election on February 3, next year where there will be other by-elections for five more MP vacancies and 12 council seats across the country.

Prior to the confirmation of Siziba’s candidacy, Ward 9 councillor Donaldson Mabuto, who filed Siziba’s nomination papers on his behalf, hinted that he may file under CCC.

“Siziba has a family, I’m sure you are all aware. Which family does Gift Siziba belong (to)? So you don’t need to ask which family he comes from because he has an identity. I’ve already told you, I’m not going to explain further. It’s up to you, you are learned people to break this riddle and its meaning. I think I have already  answered you. I’m not going to say anything further,” Mabuto said.  

After Siziba was confirmed as a successful candidate for the by-election next year, Sithabile Mlilo, National Task Force member for the women assembly in the CCC stated that members would not abandon the party due to legal woes. 

“We have filed papers for one of our own, Gift Siziba and his papers have gone through and were successful.  I mean we can’t run away from our party. This is our party Citizens Coalition for Change,  so we will always go back as Citizens Coalition for Change,” she said.

Mlilo said if the courts disqualified Siziba for filing under CCC then that was another issue.

“If the court is going to bar us, then let it bar us. For now we are the people and we are the Citizens Coalition for Change. So we are not going to change anything, that’s our party  we are not going to run away from it  this is it,” said the CCC member.

Meanwhile, Otilia Sibanda who filed on behalf of the other CCC candidate, said the nomination  process for Tembo went smoothly up to the time she was successfully confirmed as a candidate for the Pelandaba-Tshabalala.

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