Mzembi Criticizes Mnangagwa For Allegedly Blocking Kasukuwere's Presidential Candidacy
Dr Walter Mzembi, a former Tourism Minister who is currently in self-imposed exile, has criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa for purportedly attempting to impede Saviour Kasukuwere’s candidacy for the presidency in the upcoming elections.
This follows an application filed by a ZANU PF activist named Lovedale Mangwana, which requested the court to prevent Kasukuwere from running on the grounds that he is no longer a registered voter in his constituency, having been absent from it for a period exceeding 18 consecutive months.
Mangwana argued that the acceptance of Kasukuwere’s nomination papers by the Nomination court was unconstitutional, citing the provisions of the Electoral Act which stipulate that a voter who has not resided in a constituency for an uninterrupted span of 18 months cannot have their name retained on the voters’ roll for that constituency. He said:
I submit that the decision to accept the first respondent’s nomination paper is in breach of section 91(1)(d) of the Constitution and invalid.
I was convinced that this circumstance meant that he is no longer a registered voter for any constituency in the republic and consequently, he does not qualify for candidacy for election to the office of President.
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Saviour Kasukuwere has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa since 2017. He skipped the country when the late former President, Robert Mugabe, was ousted from power. In response to the application, Mzembi said:
This is the zenith of electoral cowardice and fear of Kasukuwere by the President of Zim ED Mnangagwa. If you cant manage internal party divisions and diversity and you resort to expulsions you reap rebellion and dissent. You had 6 years to fix this!
Saviour Kasukuwere, who registered as an independent candidate for the upcoming presidential election, will know his eligibility to contest on Thursday, June 29th when the High Court convenes to adjudicate the matter. His spokesperson and chief election agent, Jacqueline Sande, has confirmed that the legal team is preparing a response and will fight the case in court. Sande has expressed confidence that Kasukuwere will succeed in his bid to contest the presidential election, stating that there is no sustainable case to prevent him from running.
Some observers have suggested that the clause in the Electoral Act which disqualifies individuals who have been out of their constituencies for a specific period from participating in an election should be abolished. They argue that this will affect many Zimbabweans living abroad who return home to vote during elections. There are many Zimbabweans living in exile or working in neighbouring countries who are still listed on the voters’ roll, and it is uncertain if they will be prevented from returning home to vote.