Some mistakenly believe Professor Mthuli Ncube, the Zanu PF parliamentary candidate for Cowdray Park, has already won the seat after the High Court disqualified opposition candidates in Bulawayo, including the 12 MP candidates from the Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC), from contesting the national elections for allegedly filing their nomination papers after the 4pm deadline on Nomination Day.
This High Court judgement on July 27, 2023 handed Zanu PF candidates in three constituencies free tickets to Parliament: Prof Ncube in Cowdray Park, Rajeshkumari Modi in Bulawayo South, and Tendayi Charuka in Bulawayo Central.
However, on August 3, 2023, the Supreme Court reinstated the 12 CCC MP candidates and others back into the electoral race after they appealed, overturning the previous ruling made by the High Court.
The Supreme Court decision means Prof Ncube has not won Cowdray Park Constituency but will face his political opponent, Pashor Raphael Sibanda of the CCC on August 23, 2023.
The 12 CCC MP candidates said the High Court erred in failing to find that factual issues should be resolved on the basis of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ZEC’s positions as well as the candidates themselves who were physically present at the Nomination Court.
According to the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), the Supreme Court’s decision enhanced CCC’s image as a “victim of injustice and a defender of democracy and human rights, which may increase its appeal to moderate voters who are dissatisfied with Zanu PF’s perfomance and policies.