ZEC cancels by-elections in six constituencies

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has nullified by-elections in six constituencies including Nkulumane and Pumula after the lawmakers who had been recalled from parliament successfully petitioned the High Court to reverse their recall.

Despite winning their case, President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a proclamation declaring their seats vacant and ordered by-elections to take place on March 26.

Sichelesile Mahlangu the MP for Pumula constituency and Kucaca Phulu the MP for Nkulumane constituency, Tendai Biti (Harare East), William Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), and Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South) were recalled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

However, High Court judge Amy Tsanga in April last year nullified their recall on grounds that  Benjamin Rukanda, who claimed to be the PDP secretary-general, was not a legitimate member of the party.

In a statement, Tuesday, ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana confirmed the seats will not be contested in the upcoming polls.

“It is hereby notified that following a court order issued in the case of Kucaca Ivumile Phulu and six others vs Benjamin Rukanda and 7 others, case No HCH 106/22, there exists no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Pumula, and Harare East National Assembly Constituencies,” said Silaigwana.

“The proclamation calling for by-elections issued by His Excellency the President in terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022 of 6 January is accordingly amended.”

Former Bulawayo Deputy Mayor and Ward 3 Councillor Tinashe Kambarami also got relief after ZEC cancelled by-election for the vacant seat following a urgent chamber application.

Kambarami had been expelled from council after High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa ruled that his election was in violation of Section 119(2) (e) of the Electoral Act following a conviction of theft.

Silaigwana said, “It is hereby notified for general information that the declaration of a vacancy in ward 3 has been withdrawn by the local authority following an urgent Chamber Application challenging the existence of a vacancy.

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