MDC mayoral case referred to High Court

The case in which the MDC-T is seeking an order to stop outgoing Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo, from blocking its mayoral candidates was today referred to the High Court after the Electoral Court said it had no jurisdiction over the matter.

The matter was heard before Justice Lavender Makoni in chambers.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora told The Zimbabwean that Justice Makoni said the case had nothing to do with elections hence it should be referred top the High Court.

The MDC-T application follows a directive by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, instructing provincial and district administrators to ensure that persons elected as mayors and chairpersons of councils should be elected councillors.

The MDC-T has selected outgoing Justice and Legal Affairs Deputy Minister, Obert Gutu, as nominee for the position of Mayor for Harare while National University of Science and Technology lecturer, Mandla Nyathi, has been picked as Mayor for Bulawayo.

The MDC-T’s Chitungwiza deputy spokesperson, Isaac Manyemba, has been nominated for Mayor of the dormitory town. Chombo is on record saying he will block the MDC-T mayoral candidates on the grounds that their appointments was in violation of the law while the MDC-T contends that it is legal for mayors to be picked from outside elected councillors..

Chombo’s threats led to the MDC-T filing an urgent chamber application in the Electoral Court on Tuesday in which the party was seeking an order compelling Chombo to allow non-councillors to be elected as mayors and chairpersons of local authorities.

The application cited Chombo and provincial administrators for Harare and Bulawayo as respondents. The MDC-T is being represented by Mwonzora and Associates Legal Practitioners.

Mwonzora told The Zimbabwean that his party had launched another application with the High Court following the directive from the Electoral Court.

“The Judge said that she did not have jurisdiction over the case and that the matter must be referred to the High Court. We had put the application as an election matter but she said she had no jurisdiction and the matter was referred to the High Court.

“So we have filed the matter with the High Court,” said Mwonzora.

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