MDC to drag ZEC to court over Lupane by-election

The main opposition party MDC said it will be dragging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to court after the electoral management body turned down their request to have a recount of ballots in the just-ended Lupane West East by-election, which was won by Zanu PF.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Party secretary-general Charlton Hwende said he had instructed party lawyers to take Zec to court after his August 5 request to have a recount was turned down.

“We have asked our lawyers to approach the courts on this matter. We will be able to give you further updates once all the matters have been presented before the courts,” he said.

In his letter to Zec, Hwende said the party believed that votes were inflated at some polling stations in favour of Zanu PF and wanted a recount to dispel the rumours.

“The MDC strongly believes that the vote count in all the polling stations inflated the votes for the supposedly winning candidate and deflated the votes for Dalumuzi Khumalo (MDC candidate). Consequently, this inflation created a miscount of the final result, to the prejudice of the MDC candidate,” Hwende wrote.

Zec, however, turned down the request on August 7 saying the MDC had failed to meet the strict requirements of section 67 A of the Electoral Act.

“Please be advised that the commission deliberated on the matter and resolved to decline your request for non-compliance with the provisions of section 67A of the Electoral Act,” wrote Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba.

Section 67 A requires that notice be given within 48 hours of the election result being declared and also demands that the party requesting the recount should specify the number of votes that it suspects to have been miscounted.
“67 A (2b) states specifically the number of votes believed to have been miscounted and if possible, how the miscount may have occurred … (2C) state how the results of the election have been affected by the alleged miscount,” part of the section read.

The by-election was held on August 3 and results declared on August 4. While the request was delivered within time limit, it, however, failed to state the exact number of votes miscounted.

Mbongeni Dube of Zanu PF won the by-election after garnering 6 369 votes followed by MDC’s Khumalo who got 4 505 votes.

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