Zanu PF death threats shock

A ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) official was allegedly forced to reject nomination papers for an aspiring Zanu PF Harare East by-election candidate after receiving death threats from a rival faction in the ruling party.

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BY CHARLES LAITON

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Chombo

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The startling revelations are contained in affidavits submitted by Terence Makupe who has approached the High Court seeking to overturn the decision of the nomination court to bar him from the June 10 polls.

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Mukupe claimed Fiona Kurima, the Zec presiding officer, received death threats at the Harare Magistrates’ Court where the nomination court sat over two weeks ago.

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Kurima was allegedly forced to withdraw Mukupe’s papers and replaced them with those of Mavis Gumbo who had lost the Zanu PF primary elections.

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In the application, Mukupe says after his victory in the primary elections, the nomination court sat on April 16 where he successfully filed papers to stand as the Zanu PF candidate for Harare East constituency.

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However, after completing the process, he was told he had been disqualified for allegedly submitting fraudulent documents, an assertion he vehemently denied.

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“The presiding officer (Kurima) confirmed that my nomination papers were in order and could not be withdrawn in the manner that had been done, but she had received threats and her life was in danger if she acted otherwise,” Mukupe claims.

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“She adjourned the court at least seven times and she took phone calls from different purported political heavyweights who instructed her to reject my nomination papers primarily, the secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, using 3rd respondent’s phone (Goodwills Masimirembwa).”

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He added: “She finally indicated that the decision to reject my nomination papers was now political as she had been threatened.”
\nAccording to Mukupe, on the day in question, he was made to pay a $50 nomination fee signalling the completion of the filing and the acceptance process.

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He said the presiding officer advised him that the process was complete and that he could go and start preparing for the elections.

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“Around 3pm, Harare (Zanu PF) provincial chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa came to the nomination court with a photocopied letter allegedly authored by Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo, alleging that the party had withdrawn my candidature and replaced me with Mavis Gumbo,” Mukupe said.

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“I immediately telephoned the political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere who was outside the country and he appointed an officer to write a letter confirming that I was the dully elected member for Harare East constituency which was promptly furnished to 2nd respondent while the nomination court was still in session.”

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He added: “Masimirembwa remained adamant that my candidature had been withdrawn by the party and it confirmed his previous vows that I would not participate in the by-elections.”

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Mukupe said his nomination was purportedly withdrawn by Chombo, but he had no powers to do so.

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He said the Zanu PF politburo had not met to disqualify him.

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“My disqualification is political, malafide, corrupt and sets a bad precedent in the political arena and is uncalled for. I submit that the rejection of my nomination papers was illegal, malicious and should be set aside,” he said.

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“It is clear that the disqualification of my candidature at the last minute was driven by malice and was not done in accordance with the law.

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“The withdrawal of my candidature violates my constitutional right to free and fair elections and I pray that it must be set aside with an order as to costs.”

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Mukupe cited Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, Kurima, Masimirembwa and Gumbo as respondents.
\nThe matter is yet to be set down for hearing. – NewsDay