OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition For Change (CCC) President Nelson Chamisa’s experimental candidate selection process imploded Wednesday, most likely costing the party over 20 seats in Bulawayo.
Late publication of the party’s candidate list, poor communication with those successful, outright bungling, questionable secrecy and accusations of candidate impositions all coalesced to fuel an already chaotic end to CCC’s process.
By 3pm none of CCC’s Parliamentary candidates had filed their nomination papers at Tredgold Building in contrast to flawless Zanu PF’s flawless system. In Harare, CCC legislator Charlton Hwende told journalists the delay was deliberately meant to avoid the very same chaos they created.
Top CCC official Felix Mafa arrived late and had to beg unsuccessfully to submit his papers. Bulawayo Central aspiring candidate Eric Gono and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s competitor Pashor Sibanda’s papers were also bungled leading to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) Provincial Elections Officer (PEO) ordering them to fix then resubmit.
It could not be ascertained whether they later submitted them. Some aspiring MPs were still getting their papers signed by party officials at 7pm.
“All our papers were ready but our candidates knew that we were going to file in the afternoon as per our agreement.
“There were things we were finishing up,” said CCC’s Sichelesile Mahlangu on the delays.
CITE ZW which extensively covered the process across Bulawayo and Matebeleland Provinces reported that Theresa Mutara, an aspiring Hwange councillor with CCC was late after arriving at 4.03pm, three minutes after Wednesday scheduled close of business.
Mutara was reported to have accused CCC of sabotaging her. Mzingaye Ncube, a resident of Lobengula West later went on camera bemoaning how Tendai Nyathi, their preferred candidate had been told to step down despite having trounced CCC’s favoured one.
“Residents are angry. Surely we cannot be made to believe we have a choice in this through the candidate selection process only for Chamisa to handpick his preferred candidate from Harare. We have decided Nyathi will run as an independent,” said Ncube.
Double candidates are said to have been recorded in Masvingo and Marondera while some aspiring MPs in Harare reportedly did not know that their nominations had been successful. One of the MPs was actually sleeping at home, oblivious of the fact his name was being called out at Harare Magistrates Court.