ZANU PF losing candidates for Zvimba East and Seke constituencies have approached the courts to challenge the final results issued by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) which declared them losers in last month’s polls.
Zvimba East Zanu PF candidate Francis Mukwangwariwa was defeated by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate Oliver Mutasa by 189 votes, while in Seke constituency, Zanu PF candidate Munyaradzi Tobias Kashambe lost to CCC’s William Madzimbamuto by 755 votes.
In their court petition the losing candidates have cited the winners and Zec as the respondents. They are seeking an order to reverse the Zec declaration and that the respondents be ordered to pay the costs.
Mukwangwariwa submitted that he premised his petition on electoral irregularity that occurred on the day of voting on August 23.
“On the day of voting and at Stapleford Siding polling station there were various electoral irregularities that occurred more particularly in that: The Zec officials who were at the said polling station were giving voters aligned to Mutasa more ballot papers than what is required. Some of the voters aligned to Mutasa were being given five ballot papers instead of three ballot papers. The extra two ballot papers were for the National Assembly elections ballots,” he averred.
“My election polling agents noticed the anomaly and complained to the Zec official and the later did not address the issue in a meaningful way. My polling agents witnessed and confirmed one voter namely Oliver ID 63-163346-W-63, who had been given five ballot papers with extra two parliamentary ballots all of which had been voted in favour of Mutasa,” Mukwangwariwa wrote in his affidavit.
He claimed that despite the police officers at the polling station having been alerted Zec did not address the anomaly.
“The declaration of poll results made by Zec also does not show any rejected votes or percentages in the constituency. This is an irregularity in view of the fact that my polling agent had noticed people voting with extra ballot papers. The declaration of the poll results by Zec was done whereas my polling agent did not sign the V23B form for the particular polling station … The reason why my polling agent refused to sign the V23B form was that it was not in tandem with what had been observed at the polling station,” he submitted.
“The irregularity is made worse in that the V23B form shows that there are 606 votes that were rejected, whereas the declaration of poll results shows that there were no votes that were rejected,” he added, while noting that the final results were declared without a proper verification and reconciliation of the votes cast.
The respondents are yet to respond.
In Seke constituency, Kashambe is seeking an order for a recount of votes arguing that there were mathematical errors in compiling the total number of votes received thereby inflating the number of votes received for Madzimbamuto.
The losing Zanu PF candidate alleges corruption, saying there were old-age voters who were turned away for failure to locate their names despite the fact that no assistance was given to them.
“During counting times, polling agents representing the applicant’s political party at some points were chased away from the polling room, while respondent’s agents remained,” Kashambe alleges.