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Hwange Central MP’s office urges residents to register to vote

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BY TICHAONA MATARUSE 

The Office of the MP for Hwange Central is appealing to all residents in the constituency who are not yet registered voters to urgently approach their local councilors and benefit from the ongoing voter registration blitz.

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The Office of the MP last week launched its own voter awareness and registration campaign in partnership with the local ward councilors.

Hwange Central Constituency has 17 wards.

A spokesperson at the Office of the MP Thulani Moyo said they were targeting all wards in the campaign set to continue until early 2023.

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“We are targeting all wards in our constituency and the voter registration campaign will continue for the next several weeks until early 2023. During its initial week of operation, only Ward 12 Urban managed to take advantage of the voter registration initiative. All registered voters who need to transfer from their respective polling stations must also urgently approach their local councilors so as to personally benefit from this opportunity with support from the Office of the MP,”said Moyo.

In an interview with Councilor for Ward 15 Makwika/Ingagula Township in Hwange Local Board Lovemore Ncube who represents Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) , welcomed the initiative.

“I would like to applaud the Honorable MP for taking this initiative,” said Ncube.

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“We have discovered that a lot of people, in particular the youths, are not registered. The residents are happy and are coming forward to this initiative. As a community leader I have mobilised other leaders for door to door mobilisation for this blitz and the response is excellent.

There are over 1 500 voters in my ward (but) as it is, some were complaining that the ZEC offices are too far and they need a minimum of US$4 to and from, so the blitz is a blessing.”

Ward 5 CCC Councilor for Hwange Local Board Tendai Sibanda also welcomed and applauded the MP for the initiative but raised concern over how young people were so reluctant to register to vote.

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“There are some people who have taken the registration seriously, especially the elderly,” said Sibanda.

“The young ones are so reluctant; they need people with patience to persuade and plead with them to go and register to vote. They no longer trust the voter’s registration from what they get from social media. Now that the schools have closed with the young who have turned 18, the MP is providing transport every Thursday for people to go and register.”

She added: “As at the end of 30 May 2022 there were 931 registered voters in my ward. We have new stands where houses are dotted. Some stands are not yet built. From the electoral boundary delimitation, the proposal is that my ward will borrow from ward 6 and we are waiting for the final outcome. I’m yet to get the figures as after the 30 of May and know how many people are registered in my ward.”

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Supporting those who served: MPs debate war veterans’ benefits

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Image: Parliament of Zimbabwe

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

The children of Zimbabwe’s war veterans are crying out for help, and it’s time we answer,” said Tendai Pinduka, sparking a passionate debate in the National Assembly. The recent discussion was prompted by a petition from the Children of War Veterans and Heroes Dependents Forum, which called for economic empowerment and support for war veterans and their families.

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As the Members of Parliament (MPs) shared their personal experiences and concerns, the room was filled with emotion. “We need to honour our heroes and recognize their sacrifices,” said Madron Matiza, citing the Bible’s teaching that “those who have worked deserve to be given food.” He urged his fellow MPs to listen to the voices of war veterans and support their ideas and contributions.

Susan Matsunga, a child of a war veteran herself, shared her painful experiences and called for action.

“We need to implement plans to support war veterans and their children, including access to education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. We owe it to them.”

The MPs emphasized the importance of amending the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act to consider children of war veterans seeking further education beyond the age of 18. Others stressed that the Constitution and the Act guarantee the rights and benefits of veterans of the liberation struggle and their dependents.

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“We need to fully fund the War Veterans Fund to support their welfare and economic empowerment,” he said Kudakwashe Mananzva added, “This is not just about benefits; it’s about honouring the sacrifices of our parents.”

As the debate came to a close, Desire Nkala summarized the MPs’ sentiments: “We must support war veterans and their children, particularly in education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. We must implement the War Veterans Act and consider all who contributed to the liberation struggle.”

The National Assembly’s debate sent a clear message: Zimbabwe’s war veterans and their families deserve recognition, support, and empowerment. As Pinduka said, “We must answer the cry for help from our heroes’ children.”

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Opposition relief … Supreme Court judges rules in favour of CCC candidates

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BY STAFF REPORTER

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and 2 other Zanu PF candidates who were poised to become MPs uncontested will now face elections.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a High Court judgement barring 12 Citizens Coalition for Change candidates from running for MP in Bulawayo, defusing a huge political row that threatened to engulf Zimbabwe’s general elections on August 23.

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa had declared, without detail, that “there will be no elections” if his candidates were prevented from running in the party’s traditional stronghold.

The 12 and four others from smaller parties were thrown out of the race by the Bulawayo High Court which ruled that they had filed their nomination papers after the 4PM deadline on June 21, which they strongly denied.

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A three-panel bench of the Supreme Court, by unanimous decision, ruled that their names should be restored on THE ballot.

Justice Tendai Uchena, presiding, said: “”This is a unanimous decision of the court. After carefully considering the matter, it is our decision that the appeals be and are hereby allowed with costs. The judgement of the court a quo (High Court) be and is hereby set aside.”

The judges went on to amend Justice Bongani Ndlovu’s controversial judgement which had allowed appeals by 12 Zanu PF activists styling themselves as “registered voters.”

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“The (High Court) applications are hereby dismissed with costs,” the new order reads.

Justices Uchena, Alfas Chitakunye and Hlekani Mwayera said the reasons for their judgement would follow.

The appeal by the CCC 12 was anchored on technicalities as their lawyers argued that the Zanu PF activists had approached the wrong court in the High Court, on a matter on which the Electoral Court has exclusive jurisdiction.

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They also argued that the main piece of evidence relied upon, an unsigned document from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, was inadmissible as it was hearsay.

The lawyers also argued that the applications were fatally defective in that they gave the twelve candidates 48 hours to file their notice of opposition instead of ten days, against established rules of the court.

Unusually, the CCC candidates were supported by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which filed affidavits before the court, arguing that the candidates whose nominations were being challenged all met the 4PM deadline.

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Thursday’s judgement means finance minister Mthuli Ncube (Cowdray Park), deputy industry minister Raj Modi (Bulawayo South) and Tendai Charuka (Bulawayo Central) – who would have all won unopposed – now have an election to prepare for with the restoration of their CCC challengers. SOURCE: ZIMLIVE

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Politics

Judge rules Bulawayo CCC candidates

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BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI 

A Bulawayo High Court Judge has ruled  that 12 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) aspiring Member of Parliament from Bulawayo constituencies be struck off the ballot after they failed to tender their nomination papers on time on June 21.

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High Court judge Justice Bongani Ndlovu made the ruling on Thursday citing that the twelve submitted their papers after a set deadline of 4PM. 

According to CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, the judge’s ruling will be immediately appealed as she says politics are at play even in the judiciary. 

“Even at his worst, (the late president) Robert Mugabe never tried to remove opponents whom he feared from the ballot paper,” Mahere said.

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“Zanu PF’s removal of 12 Bulawayo candidates renders this a full blown dictatorship and an outpost of tyranny.

“The CCC will appeal against the Bulawayo judgment.

“Citizens have the right to nominate candidates within the ambit of the law and to be represented by MPs that they choose in a free and fair election.

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“The right to parliamentary representation of their choice is sacred.”

The judgment means that  Zanu PF will win 21 of the 210 parliamentary seats uncontested in the upcoming harmonized elections set for August 23. 

If the ruling stands,  It will also mean that Zanu PF will regain control of Bulawayo city for the first time since the 2000 elections in which they have continuously lost grip on for the past years, but analyst Ibbo Mandaza says this is an early indication of unfair election results. 

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“We are in a potential crisis, I can’t see how credible elections can be held at this rate, not to mention the many – much more in previous elections – negative features to the electoral process so far. ” Mandaza said.

Even Amnesty International on Tuesday issued a statement noting that Zimbabwe is heading for another disputed election because of disagreements over nomination of candidates, the poor state of the voters roll and restrictions on campaigns by the opposition.

 

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