20 September 2008
Nkilongo elections tomorrow
Stories by Alec Lushaba
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has announced that elections will be held tomorrow at Nkilongo Inkhundla.
This follows the withdrawal of the notice of appeal against former Deputy Speaker Trusty Gina who initially the High Court had ruled in her favour. EBC Deputy Chairman Mzwandile Fakudze told the Weekend Observer that after the notice of appeal was withdrawn last on Thursday afternoon, they decided that elections be held on Sunday.
“”We decided to hold the Nkilongo elections on Sunday in order to give the people of Big Bend enough time to prepare themselves for the elections. It was too late to continue with the elections on Friday,” Fakudze said. Polls are expected to open at 7a.m like it was the case yesterday and close at 5.pm. Today the EBC will be opening the counting of votes in the 55 constituencies, where elections were conducted yesterday.
Had the notice of appeal gone ahead, Nkilongo would have held its election after November by which time, any candidate coming from this constituency would have missed out in any cabinet or Parliamentary positions that are filled immediately after they have been sworn into office.
Four cry foul of Nkilongo elections
Four candidates who stood for primary elections at Mndobandoba where they were defeated by Trusty Gina have cried foul about the manner in which their case has been handled.
The four are Sazi Ngcamphalala, Bhekuyise Shongwe, Louige Dlamini and Mathokoza Gamedze. They said they were waiting for the Supreme Court to sit in November to discuss their appeal against the Mndobandoba results. They said they were therefore surprised when they received notification from their lawyer that the Nkilongo elections are going ahead tomorrow. They now claim that if the Nkilongo elections are held, as things stand, then such elections will not be free and fair. One of the appellants, Gamedze said it would seem the EBC is being ordered around by Gina who alone decides when elections should be held. “What is worrying is that there are four other candidates besides us, vying for the Nkilongo secondary elections – who have also been caught by surprise by the announcement that the elections are on, on Sunday,” Gamedze said.
“I doubt that they are prepared, and giving them two days notice may not help them and could even affect the outcome of the results – which would made the four candidates to go to court like us.” Gamedze said he was worried that if Gina were to lose the Sunday elections, she may turn around and ask to benefit from the November appeal, in the event such appeal is successful.
“Anything can happen.”