SUPREME Court judges, Justices Bharat Patel and Chinembiri Bhunu, have dismissed an appeal by MDC Alliance candidate Gift Konjana challenging the pronouncement of Zanu PF legislator Dexter Nduna as the winner of the Chegutu West seat during the 2018 elections.
In dismissing the appeal, Justice Patel noted that while it had merit, it could not be heard before the court as it had exceeded the time limit stipulated by the Electoral Act.
“It is accordingly ordered that the present appeal, having ceased to be properly before this court by reason of the time limit stipulated by Section 182 (2) of the Electoral Act having been exceeded, be and is hereby removed from the roll with each party to bear its own costs,” Patel adjudged, with concurrence of Bhunu.
Konjana had initially approached the High Court with a petition challenging the election of Nduna as Chegutu West MP and argued that officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) had made mistakes in capturing the data from ward centres.
The petition was dismissed in October 2018 by High Court judge Justice Mary Dube, who had noted that the application was fatally defective, ruling Konjana had failed to present his case in a format required by the law.
Unsatisfied with the decision by Justice Dube, Konjana had then filed an appeal at the Supreme Court and challenged the lower court’s decision to dismiss his petition on the basis that it was defective.
“The gravamen of the appeal against the judgment a quo is threefold. The first is that the petition was not fatally defective for having been brought on notice as Section 169 of the Electoral Act makes such notice mandatory.
“The second is that the court a quo could have condoned non-compliance with the Rules as Section 17 (9) of the Electoral Act vests the court with such competence to condone.
“The third is that the court failed to consider the merits of the petition despite Zec having acknowledged the error that resulted in the undue return complained about,” Konjana said in his application to the Supreme Court.
Justice Patel also noted that the matter was dismissed as it could not be heard or determined by the Supreme Court as it was out of their jurisdiction. – Daily News