Norton by-election candidates file nomination papers

HARARE - Three candidates vying for the Norton Parliamentary seat successfully filed their papers with the Nomination Court in Chinhoyi yesterday.

The seat fell vacant following the expulsion of Christopher Mutsvangwa from Zanu PF.

The trio — Temba Mliswa, who is standing as an independent, David Chingodzo from the National Constitutional Assembly and Zanu PF’s Ronald Chindedza — are the confirmed candidates for the October 22, 2016 by-election.

This comes after Mliswa had written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s chairperson, Rita Makarau, enquiring on his eligibility to stand as an independent in the constituency.

He said according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, a person is eligible for election as a member of Parliament if he or she is registered as a voter and is at least 21 years of age.

“In order to satisfy all requirements and in particular reference to registration as a voter, I would like to confirm whether I am required to be a voter in the constituency that I aspire to stand in or whether the electoral Court  judgment made by justice (Chinembiri) Bhunu . . . that, ‘one does not have to be a registered voter in the constituency they want to stand in but has to only satisfy the . . . constitutional requirements is in fact correct and that as a registered Zimbabwean voter and above the age of 21, that I am eligible to stand as a candidate in Norton,” read part of Mliswa’s August 29, 2016 letter.

Makarau said that one does not need to be registered as a voter in a constituency he or she seeks to stand in as an election candidate.

“ . . . since you are already a registered voter for Hurungwe West Constituency, subject to your meeting the other requirements for nomination, as stated in Section 46 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), you qualify to be nominated as a candidate for election to the Norton constituency by-election,” she said.

She, however, said Mliswa will only be allowed to vote on the polling day after he registers in the Norton constituency, a process she said was still underway on August 30, 2016.

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