THERE was chaos at the Mangwe Rural District Council nomination court in Matabeleland South on Wednesday when the presiding officer allegedly extended the sitting by two hours to allow a Zanu PF candidate to submit her papers.
mbers of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change clashed with Zanu PF officials over the extension of the deadline after Zanu PF’s Ward 7 candidate Joyce Dube failed to arrive at the nomination court by 4pm.
The decision to wait for Dube, who had delayed by two hours, incensed members of the opposition who complained bitterly to the presiding officer.
A power outage further exacerbated the situation as the MDC candidate waited for Dube after the extension of the deadline, said sources.
This allegedly prompted the presiding officer to close the nomination court and allow for verification of the candidates.
At the end of the nomination process, the Arthur Mutambara-led faction of the MDC had 16 candidates while the Tsvangirai’s camp only had two candidates. Zanu PF had 17 candidates nominated.
Meanwhile, in other centres in Matabeleland, the nomination of candidates was marred by confusion as some candidates were turned away.
Willie Sibata of Ward 19 in Gwanda rural district was turned away after his name was struck off the voters roll.
The Tsvangirai-led faction, which was reportedly struggling to find candidates in Matabeleland South, only managed to put up one candidate while Zanu PF had all its 23 candidates nominated.
The nomination court was sitting in 57 rural district councils and six urban local authorities. Elections will be held on October 28.