Zanu PF caught in own legal tangle

Loughty Dube

THE amended Citizenship Act has barred ruling Zanu PF candidate David Ndlovu from contesting the forthcoming council elections after a nomination court ruled he was not a Zimbabwean citizen by l

aw.


Ndlovu, the former Bulawayo acting mayor, was disqualified by the nomination court presided over by Willard Sayenda. The presiding officer said Ndlovu, a candidate for Ward 20, was not a Zimbabwean citizen because his parents were born in Malawi and therefore could not contest the elections.


Ndlovu has been a councillor for Ward 20 for more than 10 years and was acting mayor of Bulawayo for three years before the election of Japhet Ndabeni Ncube in 2001.


The country’s Citizenship Act was amended prior to the hotly contested presidential election in March last year in a move political commentators said was meant to bar farm workers – mainly those of Malawian and Zambian origin – and whites from casting their votes.


The government viewed them as sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.


The amendments have been challenged in the Supreme Court by local citizens in their individual capacities. The government has since gazetted an amendment to the principal Act to ensure some of the affected groups are recognised as Zimbabweans by law.


The judgement by the nomination court however means that the MDC has already secured two council seats in two wards in Bulawayo after Zanu PF failed to field a candidate in another ward at the close of the nomination court last Monday.


The two unopposed MDC candidates are Cornelius Ncengani of Ward Four and Kelboy Mabandla of Ward 20.


The two are expected to take office at the beginning of September after the elections.


MDC provincial spokesperson for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, confirmed that the two MDC candidates were unopposed at the close of the nomination court on Monday and said they would take office at the beginning of September.


“We have 29 candidates contesting council seats in Bulawayo and already we have won two uncontested as Zanu PF failed to field candidates,” he said.