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Candidates submit papers to nomination court ahead of by-elections.

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Candidates vying for vacant parliamentary and local government posts on Wednesday submitted their papers to the nomination court at various centres across the country, as by-elections are drawing closer.

The seats were left vacant after the deaths and recall of those who were elected to the posts in the 2018 general elections.

The country is set to go to the polls on March 26, 2022, to fill the vacant posts.

In the Midlands Province, Gokwe Central, Kwekwe Central, Mberengwa South, and Mkoba are constituencies where by-elections are set to be held. Meanwhile, Mbizo constituency is among those where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission withdrew vacancy notices following a court order barring the by-elections.

The court order came after opposition political formation, People`s Democratic Party, had challenged the existence of vacancies in six constituencies and one ward. The party argued that the MDC T, which recalled the members, had done so illegally.

In local authorities, the by-elections will be held in eleven wards across the Midlands province, that include, Gweru Ward 2, Wards 5, 8, 9, 10, and 12 in Kwekwe urban, Ward 23 in Gokwe North, Wards 25 and 34 in Mberengwa Rural District Council, Ward 3 in Chirumanzu RDC and Ward 8 of Zibagwe RDC.

Most candidates in the province successfully submitted their papers to the nomination court, with ZANU PF, Citizen Coalition for Change, and MDC-Alliance dominating.

According to ZEC papers seen by 98.4FM News, ZANU PF`s Daveson Masvisvi, Citizen Coalition for Change`s(CCC) Lisias Mutegwe, and MDC Alliance`s Edward Vakai successfully submitted their nominations for the Gokwe Central constituency seat by-election. For Kwekwe Central, Tafadzwa Dzingire (United Zimbabwe Alliance), John Mapurazi (ZANU PF), Mbekezeli Ndlovu (MDC A), Judith Tobaiwa (CCC) were successful, the papers showed.

Hungwe Tasara (ZANU PF) and Davies Shoko (CCC) were successful for Mberengwa South by-elections, according to the papers. For Mkoba Constituency, Albert Chadoka (MDC A), Amos Chibaya (CCC), William Gondo (ZANU PF), and Malvern Zihapa (Federation of African States), the papers show.

For local authority by-elections in Gweru city Ward 2, three candidates, ZANU PF`s Erlanger Tinarwo, Josiah Makombe of CCC, and MDC-A`s Partson Chingwaru successfully tendered their nomination papers.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Gweru District Elections Officer Joshua Mhino, who presided over the Gweru Ward 2 nomination court, said the exercise had gone well.

“The process went well for Ward 2 Gweru municipality by-election. There were three candidates who successfully managed to lodge their papers and the papers were well completed, with the required number of nominators, at least five nominators,” Mhino said.

For Kwekwe municipality, Assan Mkwananzi, the ZEC District Elections Officer said all the vacant wards were going to be contested, as the majority of those who submitted nomination papers were successful.

“Since there is more than one candidate in each of the five contested wards, there is going to be an election as proclaimed by His Excellency together with the ZEC notices of 8, 11, and 12 January a poll shall then take place on the 26th of March 2022,” said Mkhwananzi.

He added: “In Ward 5 Kwekwe City Council, we have Chingarande Melody of Citizen Coalition for Change, Chirima Happyday of ZANU PF and Munhutu Fimbisayi of MDC Alliance. Ward 8, Gwamure Milton Kudakwashe of CCC, Mapfumo Christine Dadirai of MDC Alliance, Mlambo Edumakomborero of ZANU PF.”

Mkhwananzi said in Ward 9, George Madzore (MDC A), Zamani Ngwenya (CCC), and Yunusu Phiri (ZANU PF) had been successful. He added that for Ward 10, Ellen Michael Gwaradzimba (MDC A), former Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo (CCC), and Tichaona Lovemore Mlambo (ZANU PF) had been accepted to stand in the by-election.

In Ward 12, Farai Kunyendu will stand for ZANU PF while Washington Moyo will represent CCC, according to the ZEC district elections officer.

ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, addressing the media in Gweru, said the nomination court process had gone well across the country and there were no incidents of violence reported.

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