THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance party has so far filed about 37 petitions with the Electoral Court in Harare, seeking to challenge the outcome of the July 30 National Assembly and Council elections, most of which were won by President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party, Zanu PF.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The petitions, whose dead-line for filing was yesterday, are yet to be set-down for hearing as most of the petitioners have not yet paid the required hearing fees, which are $2 000 for the National Assembly and $1 000 for Council elections.
In the court challenges so far filed, most of the MDC Alliance’s candidates urged the court to nullify the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in favour of the Zanu PF candidates, arguing the latter’s victory was as a result of intimidation and vote buying.
One such application was filed by Nkosinathi Alloys Nyamadzawo, who is challenging Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Phillip Chiyangwa, who was declared the National Assembly winner for Zvimba South Constituency.
In his application, Nyamadzawo said: “I am seeking an order nullifying the declaration of the respondent (Chiyangwa) as the duly elected Member of the National Assembly for Zvimba South Constituency and in consequence, that this honourable court declares that, I, your petitioner, am the duly elected candidate in the place of the respondent.”
Nyamadzawo said in the alternative, and in the event that an order nullifying Chiyangwa’s election is granted, “but the court making a finding that the corrupt or illegal practices committed by Chiyangwa and/or his agents were serious in nature and that they affected the outcome of the election in a material way and that it is impossible to declare a winner”, the court should disqualify Chiyangwa from taking part and offering himself as a candidate for the re-run of the election.
Nyamadzawo got 3 978 votes against Chiyangwa’s 11 819.
Nyamadzawo said Chiyangwa was seen buying soft drinks and beer for voters who were on their way to the polling stations and that he also intercepted voters who were on their way to Mpumbu polling station and further stockpiled maize grain in classrooms at Chikambi Primary School, with a view to entice voters.
Another petitioner for Murewa South Constituency, Noah Mangondo, took Joel Biggie Matiza to the same court after the latter was declared a winner with 10 808 votes.
Mangondo said he was challenging the declaration for the announcement of Matiza as the winner on the basis that his election was procured “by corrupt and/or illegal and/or intimidatory practices” on his part, his agents and political supporters.
Mangondo said the threats were that if Matiza was to lose in the election, all “Mangondo’s known sympathisers were to be chased away from their farms and were to be assaulted and made to disappear as what happened in 2008’s general elections and further that they were to be denied all agricultural inputs provided by the government”.
Agrippa Masiyakurima is also challenged Michael Madiro, who was elected Member of Parliament for Mutare North Constituency.
MDC Alliance secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, who is leading the party’s committee challenging parliamentary results, confirmed that eight out of the 18 seats challenged at the High Court were from Mashonaland East province.
“So far, we have filed 18 parliamentary petitions; eight are Mashonaland East, three in Manicaland, one (from) Bulawayo, one in Midlands, two in Masvingo, one Mashonaland Central and one from Mashonaland West,” Mwonzora said.
Mutasa North, Mutare West, Murehwa North, Mutoko North, Mutoko South, Mutoko East, Chikomba Central, Marondera West, Mudzi North, Harare South, Bikita South, Bikita East are among the constituencies whose outcomes are being challenged.