Gono ghost haunts Zec

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Gideon Gono

THE ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) has been accused of double standards after it allowed Zanu PF MP Keith Guzah to contest in the Hurungwe West by-election on June 10 despite his name not appearing on the voters’ roll after former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono was disqualified over a similar issue.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Former Zanu PF MP Temba Mliswa, who lost the Hurungwe West election after running as an independent candidate, has threatened to take the matter to court seeking to overturn Guzah’s victory.

Last year, Zec denied Gono the chance to become Manicaland Senator to replace the late Kumbirai Kangai, arguing that his name had not been transferred before the 2013 harmonised elections.

“The same certificate that Zec now claims was valid as regards the transfer of Keith Guzah was declared invalid under the Gono scenario,” a senior Zanu PF official told NewsDay yesterday.

“It is politicking and Zec has, as usual, been sucked into the ruling party’s politics.”

Gono was diplomatic when contacted over the issue yesterday.

“Zec deserves everyone’s respect and support regardless of whether one agrees with a particular ruling or not,” Gono said.

“My case is a closed chapter and there is a sitting Senator, Shadreck Chipanga, whom I respect and I am at peace with whatever happened. I have no dog in this fight and will never have one.”

Mliswa early yesterday confirmed he was working on papers to challenge’s Guzah’s election.

“We must lodge an application today (yesterday). The papers have been drafted, but we are just finalising consultations. Get in touch with me later in the day,” Mliswa said.

But Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said Gono’s case was different from Guzah’s.

“It could not have been the same because at the time, Gono is reported to have transferred from wherever he was coming to the new constituency. Zec was not carrying out a voter registration exercise, but in this case, we were indeed registering people to vote,” Justice Makarau said.

But opposition NCA leader and constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku accused the Zec chairperson of lying.

“She is taking Zimbabweans for granted by using big words and that must be condemned,” he said.

“Whether Guzah had a certificate or not is immaterial. The issue is whatever paper the Zanu PF candidate had was not a substitute for a voters roll.”

The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), a local think-tank, accused Zec of double standards.

“The inconsistencies and controversies mainly on Zec’s explanation of how Zanu PF’s candidate Guzah contested is a microcosm of a bigger and deeper credibility issue and lack of transparency associated with Zec’s management of elections in Zimbabwe,” ZDI said.

“The manner in which Zec conducted the Hurungwe by-election reduces Zimbabwe into a competitive electoral authoritarian regime where elections are a means by which the regime tries to reproduce itself.”

ZDI said elections in Zimbabwe were now devoid of meaning as the “outcome is predetermined”.

Zec has long been accused of favouring Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Justice Makarau once stood as a woman of immaculate character, an iconic professional woman. sadly after accepting the seemingly “political” zec appointment, the same can no longer be said of her. Her soul had been devoured by the political animal called zanu-pf. Our once dearest, good and Honorable Justice Rita Makarau has faded into oblivion.

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