State closes case in MDC MP’s falsified address case

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The State yesterday closed its case in the matter in which Mt Pleasant legislator Samuel Banda (MDC Alliance) is being accused of contravening a section of the Electoral Act by allegedly falsifying his home address so that he could register to represent the constituency.

Banda (43), who is represented by Job Sikhala, yesterday told magistrate Learnmore Mapiye that the complainant and witnesses were aggrieved after he won a ticket to represent his party during the primary elections in which they all participated.

Banda told the court that the complainants, Warship Dumba and Isaac Chidavaenzi, had political scores to settle with him because they wanted his position.

Chidavaenzi lost the position to Banda for parliamentary elections, while Dumba wanted the position, but was relegated to council elections.

“The only truth is that both witnesses wanted to be MDC Alliance candidates. Dumba wanted to be a councillor, while Chidavaenzi wanted to be the MP, but they all lost,” Banda told the court.

“I’m (very) surprised that Chidavaenzi lied that I do not stay at his place of residence, yet I’m still staying at his house. I’m surprised that he lied that he learnt that I registered using his place of residence address on radio. It is so shameful. Even Jesus was disregarded by his fellows. That is why my fellow opposition members are fighting me. They have teamed up with my enemies to say that I lied about my address, which is untrue.”

Mapiye postponed the matter to Monday next week for ruling.

Allegations are that on December 28, 2017 last year during the national biometric voter registration exercise, Banda misrepresented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that he was staying at number 34 Waller Avenue, Mt Pleasant, Harare, in order for him to register as a voter in that constituency, while in actual fact, he did not reside there.

The State alleges that Banda went on to depose an affidavit of residence for voter registration (Zec Form VR-9) to a Zec commissioner of oaths purporting to be residing at the house.

Through misrepresentation, the prosecution said, Banda was registered as a voter in Mt Pleasant constituency, where he contested for the House of Assembly seat and eventually won.

The State said the Zec forms VR1 and VR9 can be produced as an exhibit.

Peter Kachirika appeared for the State.

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