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Chaimiti wins Masvingo mayoral seat unopposed
The Herald
May 14, 2005

MDC’s Mr Alois Chaimiti yesterday won the Masvingo mayoral seat unopposed after the Nomination Court rejected the nomination papers of the Zanu-PF candidate, but the ruling party immediately said it would challenge the rejection in court.

Zanu-PF candidate Mr Patson Muzvidziwa had his papers rejected by the Nomination Court — which sat at the Masvingo Civic Centre on the grounds that there were different names on his Ordinary Level certificate and on his professional qualification certificate.

Furthermore, the Nomination Court ruled that Cde Muzvidziwa did not his pass O-Level and therefore, did not qualify to seek election as a mayor. According to the law, prospective mayoral candidates should have passed O-Level, among other requirements, to qualify to contest mayoral elections.

Presiding officer Mrs Sithembeni Chitsa had to extend the sitting of the Nomination Court by about two-and-half hours to allow Cde Muzvidziwa to put his papers in order but eventually declared the court closed at 6:30pm by which time Cde Muzvidziwa had not yet put his papers in order.

Acting Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Isaiah Shumba said they would seek recourse at the courts over the manner the nomination court handled the process.

"They were not supposed to reject Cde Muzvidziwa’s papers because there was an affidavit to support the discrepancy on the names. An affidavit is a legal document and they should have accepted it.

"We are going to mount a court challenge because we think we have been treated unfairly," said Cde Shumba.

Asked why they had not put another candidate to replace Cde Muzvidziwa, Cde Shumba said Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials refused to accept papers from another candidate and said they could only extend the sitting of the court for Cde Muzvidziwa.

Cde Shumba said Cde Muzvidziwa’s O-Level certificate had the names PM (for Patson Muzvidziwa) Shumba while his professional qualifications had the name P (for Patson) Muzvidziwa.

He said the ZEC officials had refused to accept seven and eight grades as passes yet according to the 1965 to 1969 regulations, they were supposed to be passes.

Ironically, Cde Taguma Mazarire, a former soldier and war veteran who had been short-listed together with Cde Muzvidziwa as probable Zanu-PF candidates, was at the Nomination Court with all his papers in order.

After the declaration of Mr Chaimiti as the Masvingo Mayor for the next four years, MDC supporters immediately broke into song and dance in celebration.

Mr Chaimiti said he was grateful to the people of Masvingo for supporting and having confidence in him.

"I am very happy and I am pleased with the support and faith the people of Masvingo have in me. I want to unite the people of this city. I want to finish the upgrading of the city’s water pumping capacity, repairing our roads and improve our street lighting," said Mr Chaimiti outlining his plans for the city.

Mr Chaimiti was first elected Masvingo executive mayor in May 2001 after he defeated Cde Jacob Chademana of Zanu-PF. Cde Muzvidziwa is a former Masvingo mayor and occupied the position for a record five times between 1985 and 1990. He had taken over as mayor from Cde Thomas Zawaira, Masvingo’s first black mayor.

The Masvingo mayoral election was supposed to have been held on June 11 had more than one candidate successfully submitted their nomination papers.

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