MASVINGO – Two CCC candidates, Bornface Mudzingwa of Bikita East and Leopold Mudisi of Zvishavane-Ngezi have filed petitions at the High Court in Masvingo challenging election results in which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioner (ZEC) declared them losers to Zanu PF opponents.
The two have since paid the hefty US$2 000 court fees considered by many as prohibitive. The cases will be heard anytime depending on the petitioners.
According to the results released by ZEC, Mudisi lost to Zanu PF’s Mecky Jaravaza by a small margin of 517 votes (11 607 to 12 124) while Mudzingwa lost to Court Zevezai by 2 336 votes (7 544 votes to 9 880 votes).
Of particular interest in Mudisi’s case is that there is a video of intimidation that will be produced against Jaravaza in Ward 19. It is in that same Ward where Mudisi made a dramatic loss; getting a paltry 10 votes against Jaravaza’s 570. Mudisi appears to attribute his total election loss of 517 to Ward 19.
Both petitioners contend that their opponents were not duly elected and are seeking orders to either declare the process null and void or to declare them winners of the election.
These two are the first reported election petitions coming out of the 2023 harmonized elections held on August 23, 2023, the lowest in many years after CCC declared that the Judiciary is captured and it has no confidence in its judges.
There are two respondents in both court cases; Zanu PF candidates and ZEC.
Both candidates are arguing that the results should be nullified because the elections were neither free nor fair and there are videos and other evidence that will be presented in court.
In the videos Jaravaza allegedly told villagers of voting party procedures that they would follow at polling stations. He also told them that their names would be recorded outside polling stations and they would be given numbers that will match those that they will be given in polling stations. He allegedly said that Zanu PF will be able to trace their votes through those numbers.
Indeed, according to the petition, the villagers found that all that Jaravaza had said was being followed at the polling stations, says the petitioner.
Jaravaza warned the villagers not to play tricks and try to vote CCC because they would be caught.
Mudzingwa alleges that his opponent, Zevezai used intimidation, violence, vote buying, voter suppression, disenfranchisement and threats to force villagers into voting for Zanu PF. There was also a faulty voters’ role. He also alleges that Zanu PF in violation of the law continued to campaign up to the election day and at the polling station in violation of the law and the code of conduct for candidates.
He says a shadowy organization allegedly run by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) had tables at the polling stations and within 300 metres of the stations which is prohibited by the law.
It cites some names of the perpetrators of violence including Zevezai, Zanu PF provincial youth chairperson, Delight Mandebvu of Nyika Growth Point, Tinashe Mufari of Mufari Village Ward 31 Bikita, Albert Mufunda also of Mufari Village, Dunmore Mutsauri of Ward 31 Bikita, Stanley Kupeta of Ward 21 Bikita, Zivanai Nhongo of Ward 31, Chikuku Business Center and Oliver Dzinokuvara of Dzinokuvara Village, Chief Mukanganwi Ward 20. – Masvingo Mirror