OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of effectively nullifying the August 23 elections by ordering courts to disqualify 12 of his parliamentary candidates in Bulawayo.
The 12 had their nomination nullified on the ground that they filed their papers after the 4pm deadline on June 21 this year.
Although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which controls the nomination courts said the papers were filed on time, High Court judge Justice Bongani Ndlovu ruled against the opposition candidates.
CCC has appealed to the Supreme Court and the case will be heard this week.
Addressing a campaign rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera yesterday, Chamisa accused the Zanu PF leader of turning to the courts after feeling pressure from the opposition movement.
“After feeling the heat, Mnangagwa has turned to the courts. In Bulawayo, he has barred our candidates,” Chamisa said.
“You can be the ruler, but you cannot be the leader, you can’t do what you want. This country belongs to God.
“If you bar the 12 candidates from contesting, therefore, you have nullified the election.
“If you have nullified the election, it means you are no longer the President. The seat is now vacant. A transitional government should be in place.
“If you bar the 12 candidates, it means there is no election. It is a coup on the ballot.
“It is a vote of no confidence on the elections, vote of no confidence on Zec.
“Mnangagwa anodherera (takes people for granted). He doesn’t know how angry we are.
“If we say no in this country, it is a no.
“He has no monopoly over being chaotic, he has no monopoly over being disorderly, monopoly over spoiling our party and dispersing our crowds.
“We come in peace, let us build this great nation.”
Chamisa also stood in former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s corner saying the aspiring independent presidential candidate was also a victim of Zanu PF’s weaponisation of the law.
“I saw what they did to Kasukuwere. Where do you want Kasukuwere to contest elections? Do you want Kasukuwere to be a candidate in South Africa where he is not a (citizen)?” Chamisa asked rhetorically.
“In the first place, why is Kasukuwere in South Africa? Why is Jonathan Moyo in Kenya? I don’t agree with them, but I know we should take care of people we differ with.
“We cannot be going around asking Mozambique, asking South Africa to take care of our people.
“We would rather correct each other in our mistakes and build this country together.”
Chamisa said Mnangagwa was abusing traditional leaders to act as his party’s political commissars in the rural areas.
“I was in rural Silobela (Midlands province) recently, the village heads confided in me that they are being forced to campaign for Zanu PF, that is wrong,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s presidential race has been reduced to a two-horse race between Mnangagwa and Chamisa after the Supreme Court last week upheld a High Court ruling barring Kasukuwere from contesting for the presidency.