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Electoral Court Reserves Judgement In Gwanda South Election Case

1 month agoThu, 29 Feb 2024 09:30:42 GMT
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Electoral Court Reserves Judgement In Gwanda South Election Case

The Electoral Court has reserved judgement in the case of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate for Gwanda South National Assembly constituency in the August 2023 general elections, Patrick Dube, who is challenging ZANU PF MP Omphile Marupi’s election.

The results of the Gwanda South constituency as announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) were as follows: Omphile Marupi (ZANU PF) – 7 941, Patrick Dube (CCC) – 5 099, Timothy Nare (ZAPU) – 270, and Happy Gumbo (UZA) – 269.

As reported by CITE, Dube, represented by Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, claimed Marupi benefitted from various electoral irregularities such as voter intimidation, malpractices, rigging and vote buying.

Dube requested the court to nullify Marupi’s victory as the MP and order fresh elections in Gwanda South.

Judge David Mangota of the Bulawayo Division of the High Court heard the case on 22 February 2024, and reserved judgement.

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In his election petition, the CCC candidate alleged that ZANU PF activists placed tables within 300 metres of the polling stations, thereby intimidating voters. He said:

In some tables, one Rosemary Maphosa of Chief Nhlamba Sengezane Village, Gwanda amongst others manned a table and recorded a register of names of people as they entered and exited polling stations.

These persons were informing voters that they should vote properly and vote for ZANU PF and not any other party. These tables were located in all the 11 wards.

I am advised, which advice I hold to be true and correct, that these actions were unlawful and against the provisions of the Electoral Act and practice.

However, Marupi through his lawyers, Nqobizitha Ndlovu of Cheda and Cheda Associates, said Dube’s petition was “nothing but just a fishing expedition which amounts to frivolous and vexatious litigation.” Said Marupi:

If indeed the alleged ZANU PF-branded tables were within 300 metres of polling stations, why did the petitioner not report the unlawful conduct to the police?

It is very improbable that the petitioner, a candidate, would have witnessed such unlawful acts in 11 wards and failed to make a single police report.

Marupi was recently appointed Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services.

More: Pindula News

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