By Anna Chibamu and Bulawayo Correspondent
FORMER Harare East MP Tendai Biti and five other Citizens for Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates Friday filed their nomination papers for March 26 parliamentary by-elections.
The six, filed their papers two days later with other aspiring candidates where they are vacant local and parliamentary seats after the High Court ruled Tuesday that their recall last year from Parliament as People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MPs, was illegal.
However, one Paul Rukanda, claiming to be PDP secretary-general Wednesday filed an urgent chamber application challenging the ruling, and High Court judge, Justice Never Katiyo, ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to conduct by-elections in the six constituencies.
The other affected former MPs are; Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South), Kucaca Phulu (Nkulumane), and Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula).
Biti will battle it out with four other candidates; Mavis Gumbo (Zanu PF), Precious Musarurwa (LEAD), Christopher Mbanga Christopher Lovemore (MDC Alliance), and Garikai Mlambo (United Zimbabwe Alliance).
Madzimure of CCC will be contesting against Fungai Chiposi of the MDC Alliance and Oscar Nyamunokora of Zanu PF for Kambuzuma constituency.
Meanwhile, in Bulawayo, the nomination court for the two vacant National Assembly seats in Bulawayo sat at the Tredgold Magistrates’ Courts with prospective candidates from various parties filing their papers.
Recalled former MPs Phulu (CCC) said he was confident of retaining the seat.
“I am extremely confident of retaining the Nkulumane constituency seat. I have got a lot of unfinished programmes in the constituency which were disrupted by my illegal recalling. In Parliament, we also have unfinished laws which we were sponsoring,” Phulu told Newzimbabwe.com.
Former Bulawayo mayor, David Ndlovu will represent Zanu PF in the same constituency.
Mahlangu (CCC) who is also seeking re-election following her recall was positive to retain the seat.
“When I was expelled, I never stopped working with the people in Pumula. I am happy that the people have been given another chance to re-elect me. I am very happy and proud to be associated with the CCC party and its leader Nelson Chamisa,” an elated Mahlangu said.
Mahlangu will fight it out with Richard Ncube (Zapu), and Nsingo Pumulani (Zanu PF).
“I am going to introduce the culture of servant leadership in Pumula if elected. I am also going to take a skills audit in the constituency,” Ncube said.
The closing of the nomination court was delayed by 30 minutes after one of the candidates had failed to file his paper on time.