ACROSS the country’s 10 provinces, aspiring legislators and councillors filed their nomination papers before the closing of the Nomination Courts at 4pm yesterday with drama and heartbreak in some areas as some failed to make it through due to shambolic planning in their parties while for Zanu PF, the process was squeaky clean.
The Nomination Courts were sitting across the country— and before yesterday it was receiving nomination papers for aspiring candidates for local government, legislature and also the presidency.
While for Zanu PF, it was smooth sailing, across the political divide in the CCC, it was pain and frustration as candidates were turned away because they failed to comply with elementary requirements while some, who were apparently riled by the blatant imposition of candidates by the leadership, chose to submit their papers either as independent candidates or as double candidates.
The ruling party appeared late last night to have won uncontested local Government seats as well as in some constituencies.
Zanu PF Mashonaland East province aspiring candidates Cde Daniel Garwe (left) and Cde Felix Mhona follow proceedings at the nomination court after submitting their papers at the Marondera Magistrates Court yesterday.
In Mashonaland East, CCC fielded two candidates in Marondera Central, namely Mr Caston Matewu and Mr Misheck Manyere.
The two will face Zanu PF seasoned politician and educationist Cde Cleopas Kundiona.
At a time when CCC aspiring candidates were trading insults, in Zanu PF all candidates had successfully submitted their papers.
In an interview after close of the Nomination Court process, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) Mashonaland East provincial presiding officer Mr Collins Munetsi said the process went on smoothly.
“We were supposed to end at 4 pm but we had outstanding issues but by 5:10 pm the results of the process were announced.
“We did not encounter any disturbing scenes; it was peaceful the whole day. Applicants met the requirements but it is quite disappointing that some brought their papers late,” he said.
In Harare, Zanu PF provincial chairman Cde Goodwill Masimirembwa said the process went on very well.
“We want to thank the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for conducting this process in an efficient and professional manner.
“On our part as Zanu PF we pre-filled our nomination papers and everything went on very well this morning (yesterday).
“In Harare we have 30 candidates for the National Assembly, six candidates for the Senate in a Zebra system headed by a female and six also for the Women’s quota in the National Assembly and then two for the youth quota,” said Cde Masimirembwa.
The party, Cde Masimirembwa said, has filed 45 candidates for the Local Authorities in Harare.
“We have also filed for 45 candidates for the local authority candidates in Harare municipality, 14 for the proportional representation, the women’s quota. We also filed for the provincial council which are 10 of them following the Zebra system headed by a female then followed by a male.
“We also filed our papers in Chitungwiza Municipality being for the 25 candidates for Local Authority and eight for the proportional representation for the Women’s quota.
“In Epworth we also filed for the seven wards and then two for the women’s quota in the Local authorities,” he said.
MDC director for Information and Publicity Mr Chengetai Guta said they are ready for the harmonised elections.
“We have submitted our nomination papers to ensure all our candidates contest in the coming elections.
“We have been submitting our nomination papers since last week,” said Mr Guta.
In Masvingo, aspiring CCC legislators almost traded blows at the Nomination Courts as they haggled over the contested final list.
In contrast all Zanu PF candidates successfully filed their papers for both National Assembly and council election in the province.
Scores of aspiring Members of Parliament, senators and Women’s quota representatives throng the Mutare Magistrates Court to file their nomination papers yesterday.
CCC Mayor Councillor Collins Maboke filed his papers to contest Masvingo Urban National Assembly seat as an independent candidate officially renouncing his membership of the party.
The situation was the same in Chiredzi West where former Chiredzi council chair Councillor Gibson Hwende also reportedly filed papers to contest as an independent candidate.
Councillor Maboke will slug it out with Cde Wellington Mahwende of Zanu PF, Mr Martin Mureri of CCC, while in Chiredzi Central Councillor Hwende will battle it out with Cde Francis Moyo of Zanu PF and Ms Ropafadzo Makumire of CCC.
Speaking after filing his papers as an independent candidate, Councillor Maboke said he was no longer a CCC member.
“I am contesting the Masvingo Urban seat as an independent candidate because I was disqualified from standing as a CCC candidate without explanation. For now, I am independent and don’t have a party if ever I am going to be CCC member again it will be some time under new circumstances,” said the ex-Masvingo mayor.
In Gutu Central, journalist and Masvingo Mirror publisher Mr Matthew Takaona will represent CCC after successfully filing his papers and will square off with Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, the incumbent MP.
It was the same story in Bulawayo where candidates from CCC failed to submit their papers after missing the deadline and this could see the ruling party taking an early lead in the elections.
All the aspiring 12 candidates were late yesterday struggling to submit their papers after the Nomination Court noted that the party had made an error on signatories.
In Bindura, the Nomination Court successfully sat at the Magistrates Courts where candidates for the House of Assembly women’s and youths’ quota as well as the provincial council for four political parties namely Zanu PF, CCC, MDC and Unites Zimbabwe Alliance filed their papers.
Out of the 18 candidates for Zanu PF who won the parties primary elections, only one Cde Douglas Karoro, was replaced by his contender, Cde David Butau.
Cde Butau successfully filled his papers and is now standing as Zanu PF candidate for Mbire and he thanked the Second Republic for accepting back party cadres who were pushed out by factionalism.
The provincial elections officer Ms Thenjiwe Mnkandla said the nomination process closed at 4 pm but the verification of the final list spilled up to 8 pm.
“The process went on well, we had no incidents. We are now looking at the final papers to come up with the final list of candidates. We had four political parties filing their papers with more than 80 percent success rate,” she said.
“Minor challenges were on paperwork but they were solved. We will know after the final process if any candidate was disqualified, they are finishing up. We had no incidents of double fielding.”
In Mashonaland West, there were indications that several people who could not make it in the mainstream political parties filed their papers as independent candidates.
The development was mostly prevalent among those seeking to be elected as councillors. There were also notable aspiring Members of Parliament including former Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidakwa for Zvimba South and Temba Mliswa for Norton.
There were also reports that incumbent opposition Chinhoyi MP Dr Peter Matarutse (CCC) who was nicodemously dropped in favour of Mr Leslie Mhangwa, could have filed his papers as an independent candidate.
By 4pm almost all Zanu PF candidates had successfully filed their papers while others were making frantic efforts to make corrections or provide outstanding documents.
In the Midlands province, the Nomination Court was extended by two more hours after aspiring candidates thronged the court gallery late to beat the 4pm deadline.
Aspiring councillors wait to submit their papers to the Nomination Court at Council Chambers in Bulawayo yesterday.
There were also double candidates in the opposition CCC with former Gweru Mayor, Councillor Josiah Makombe filling papers for Gweru Urban together with Ms Blessing Mhishi.
Ms Mhishi could be seen confronting CCC leadership of Mr Amos Chibaya and Mr Sesil Zvidzai after some party members tried to block her from filing her papers.