Harare East fight rages on

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HIGH COURT judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is today expected to give a determination in a political impasse between two Zanu PF candidates — Mavis Gumbo and Terrence Mukupe — who are fighting to represent Harare East constituency in the June 10 by-elections.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Mukupe took the matter to court after he was barred from representing the ruling party following his victory in the primary elections. Instead, the party ordered him through Harare provincial chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa to make way for Gumbo, the former Women’s Football boss.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (Zec) lawyer, Tawanda Kanengoni yesterday said both parties had partially presented their arguments before Justice Bhunu.

“The matter is still going on, parties presented their arguments today (yesterday), but they did not complete and we were asked by the judge to come back tomorrow (today) at 9am to complete the arguments and thereafter he will give his determination,” Kanengoni said.

Mukupe said in an application filed by his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti said: “My disqualification is political, malafide corrupt and sets a bad precedent in the political arena and is uncalled for. I submit that the rejection of my nomination papers was illegal, malicious and should be set aside.”

His disqualification came just after he had successfully presented his nomination papers at the Nomination Court on April 16 this year before presiding officer Fiona Kurima.

“The presiding officer (Kurima) confirmed that my nomination papers were in order and could not be withdrawn in the manner that had been done, but had received threats and her life was in danger if she acted otherwise,” Mukupe said.

“She adjourned the court at least seven times and took phone calls from different purported political heavyweights who instructed her to reject my nomination papers primarily, the secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo using 3rd respondent (Goodwills Masimirembwa).”

Mukupe added: “She finally indicated that the decision to reject my nomination papers was now political as she had been threatened.”

According to Mukupe, Masimirembwa brought to court a photocopied letter allegedly authored by Chombo, indicating that the party had withdrawn his candidature.

Mukupe further said he immediately telephoned Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who then appointed an officer to write a letter confirming him as the party’s bonafide candidate.

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