ZANU PF has petitioned the High Court on an urgent basis seeking to bar Murewa South Constituency independent candidate, Noah Mangondo, from using the ruling party’s regalia depicting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s face, for campaigning purposes.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The urgent chamber application, which is yet to be set down for hearing, was filed on Tuesday.
In his founding affidavit, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said there are fears that if Mangondo is not interdicted from using the party’s regalia, his actions will eventually cause confusion to party supporters.
“This application seeks a final interdict on the respondent (Mangondo) to desist from printing campaign materials which carry the face of the applicant’s (Zanu PF) presidential candidate for 2018 harmonised elections E.D Mnangagwa and which carry the applicant’s presidential candidate’s campaign slogan for its presidential candidate #ED HAS MY VOTE,” Mangwana said.
“If the respondent is not interdicted from these actions, he will mislead the electorate into believing that he is still a member of the applicant and he is also associated with its presidential candidate, thus obtaining votes that he does not deserve.
Mnagwana added Zanu PF will stand to suffer irreparable harm in that it will lose its electorate in the constituency to Mangondo.
The ruling party further said it has approached the court on an urgent basis after realising that Mangondo had distributed his campaign materials which contained the offensive captions.
“The applicant has acted with urgency once it noted that the respondent, in his campaigning materials distributed in the weekend of June 30 and July 1, 2018, contained those offensive captions,” Mangwana said.
In its narration of the unfolding event, Zanu PF said initially Mangondo was one of its aspiring legislators for Murewa South Constituency after submitting his curriculum vitae for consideration to contest in the primary elections.
However, on April 20 Zanu PF’s national elections commission disqualified Mangondo from participating in the applicant’s primary elections since he did not meet the criteria to contest.
The party said soon after the primary elections, it gathered information to the effect that some members who had either been disqualified from contesting in the primary elections or those who had lost had elected to stand as independent candidates in the 2018 harmonised elections.
In light of what the ruling party had gathered, Zanu PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, on June 8 forewarned disgruntled members that should they stand as independent candidates, they risked being automatically expelled.
Despite the warning, Mangondo is said to have elected to stand as an independent candidate having submitted his candidature with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on June 14.