The case in which Tsholotsho North MP Professor Jonathan Moyo sought to nullify the election of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament was heard yesterday by the full bench of the Supreme Court but judgment was reserved.
Moyo claims that the election process was not done by secret ballot and that the whole process was tainted by Minister of Finance Tendai Biti and five other MDC-T MPs, who publicly displayed their ballot papers after casting their votes thereby influencing the outcome.
He further claims that contrary to the Clerk of Parliament’s instruction, MPs did not leave the chamber after casting their votes but appeared to be observers.
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma, who is cited as the first respondent and Lovemore Moyo’s lawyers however argued the electoral process was not flawed and contend each member cast their vote without influence or coercion.
The lawyers argued that the displaying of the ballot papers was a sign of individuals’ freedom of expression which did not have any bearing on the results of the election.
Zvoma’s lawyer Choice Damiso said her client did not witness any member displaying his or her ballot papers although she maintained even if they had, the outcome of the election could not have been influenced by a mere 2% of those that allegedly exposed their ballot papers.
Turning to the question of leaving the Chamber after casting votes, Damiso said the instruction by the Clerk of Parliament to leave was only administrative and meant to decongest the House but had nothing to do with the electoral process.
Moyo was elected as Speaker of Parliament on August 25, 2008 and his election has been challenged by Professor Moyo who wants his election annulled.
The Supreme Court bench comprised of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, Justice Luke Malaba, Justice Wilson Sandura, Justice Paddington Garwe and Justice Vernanda Ziyambi.
The matter was brought on appeal following the dismissal of the case at the High Court by Justice Bharat Patel earlier this year.
Professor Moyo was represented by Terrence Hussein while the Speaker of Parliament was represented by advocate Matthew Chaskalson from South Africa, instructed by Chris Mhike.