Saviour Kasukuwere, an independent presidential candidate and former cabinet minister, has been disqualified from contesting the upcoming presidential election in Zimbabwe. The High Court ruled that he did not meet the residency requirements stipulated in the electoral law. Kasukuwere had filed his nomination papers in June intending to challenge the presidential poll for the first time in his political career.
His candidacy was challenged in the courts by one Lovedale Mangwana, a Zanu PF activist, who argued that the former party commissar Kasukuwere did not meet the full requirements to contest the poll as he has not been a resident in Zimbabwe for the past 18 months.
In a ruling on Tuesday, High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi upheld Mangwana’s contention and disqualified the politician from the race.
According to Section 91 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, for “qualifications for election as President and Vice-President (1) A person qualifies for election as President or Vice-President if he or she – (a) is a Zimbabwean citizen by birth or descent; (b) has attained the age of forty years; © is ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe; and (d) is registered as a voter.
“(2) A person is disqualified for election as President or Vice-President if he or she has already held office as President under this Constitution for two terms, whether continuous or not, and for the purpose of this subsection three or more years’ service is deemed to be a full term.”
Kasukuwere was expected to draw his vote from the former ruler’s remnant support. He faces arrest from his native country on alleged corruption and abuse of office.
Kasukuwere is a former cabinet minister and Zimbabwean politician. He was a member of the ZANU-PF party and served as the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing.
Tyson as he was known within Zanu PF circles was expelled from the party in November 2017 by the party’s central committee along with other prominent G40 politicians including Grace Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Ignatius Chombo, Walter Mzembi, Shadreck Mashayamombe, Makhosini Hlongwane, Innocent Hamandishe, Samuel Undenge and Sarah Mahoka1.
In November 2017, Kasukuwere escaped death by a whisker when bullets rained on his Harare home as the army effected the military coup which toppled former president Robert Mugabe2. Mnangagwa’s administration is still hunting down G40 faction members3.
Kasukuwere had filed his nomination papers in June intending to challenge the presidential poll for the first time in his political career but was disqualified from contesting the upcoming presidential election after the High Court ruled that he did not meet the residency requirements stipulated in the electoral law4.