Riot police lay siege to Supreme Court as 12 CCC disqualified candidates fight for reinstatement; opposition says move “regrettable”   

By Darlington Gatsi

ARMED riot police officers laid siege to the Supreme Court, Wednesday, creating a tense atmosphere as 12 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) aspiring Members of Parliament appeared before the court.

The 12 Bulawayo candidates approached the Supreme Court as they fight to be reinstated on the ballot ahead of elections to be held in three weeks’ time.

As lawyers from both appellants and respondents were butting heads in the court gallery, armed anti-riot police were conspicuous by their presence in the vicinity.

This was in response to a CCC flier on social media that sought to mobilize supporters to attend the court session.

Addressing the media, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere slammed the action by police officers.

“We also say it is a matter of regret that the court is currently surrounded by police. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy. There is no way we can have a situation where the citizens are under siege and unable to peacefully exercise their constitutional rights.

“We continue to call for the will of the people to be respected as CCC. We continue to say that Zanu PF can never win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe,” said Mahere.

The 12 CCC candidates were last week barred from contesting by a High Court in Bulawayo which said Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) erred in accepting their nomination papers after deadline.

Mahere accused the ruling party Zanu PF of using the judicial system in political matters.

“As CCC we continue to insist that there can be no Zimbabwe without Bulawayo. The attempt to disqualify 12 of our candidates in the upcoming election is a coup on the will of the people.

“The constitution is very clear that legislative authority derives from the people. So anything that takes away the power of the people to elect their representatives is unconstitutional,” said Mahere.

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