LOSING Marondera MDC-T parliamentary candidate Ian Kay has accused Zanu PF MP Ray Kaukonde of vote buying by dishing out foodstuffs to people in the drought-prone area before the July 31 polls.
This is contained in a court application filed with the Electoral Court by Kay’s lawyers, Maunga, Maanda and Associates last week challenging the victory of Kaukonde alleging that serious irregularities marred the electoral process.
Kay lost to Kaukonde in the harmonised elections after garnering 7 840 against the ultimate winner’s 9 357.
“The area is drought-prone and poverty-stricken and use of food and other means of vote buying by first respondent was very rampant during the run up to the election,” read the petition by Kay in part.
“In the lead up to the harmonised elections of July 31, the respondent was engaged in vote buying activities. Truckloads of cabbages, mealie-meal, day old chicks, footballs, football uniforms and cash were distributed en masse in Marondera constituency.
“This was vote buying as all that were given trinkets were asked to vote the first respondent on the basis of receiving the trinkets.”
Kay, who is seeking a rerun, raised a litany of allegations including the use of State resources for campaign purposes, the chaotic voters’ roll and the number of voters turned away as some of the reasons for his loss.
But Kaukonde, through his lawyers, Warara and Associates, denies the allegations raised by Kay.
In his opposing affidavit, Kaukonde said that Kay had lied about his residential address, saying he did not stay there.
“While I admit that I was declared the winner of the election, I deny that the electoral process was characterised by electoral malpractices or irregularities as alleged,” Kaukonde said.
On vote buying, Kaukonde said: “These are denied. I deny that I engaged in vote buying activities. The petitioner simply makes a bold and unsubstantiated statement that my functionaries and myself distributed food, day old chicks, footballs and football uniforms and cash without stating where and to who. As such it will be difficult to deny a bold assertion which effectively leaves me without an idea what it is that is referred to.”
Kaukonde said Kay’s allegation were speculative, adding that he should provide proof of what he was alleging in most instances.