Mliswa petition deferred

via Mliswa petition deferred | The Herald August 14, 2015

Former Mashonaland West provincial chairman Mr Temba Mliswa has asked the Electoral Court to postpone the petition hearing of the case in which he is challenging the victory of Zanu-PF’s Cde Keith Guzah in the Hurungwe West parliamentary by-election two months ago to allow him to prepare his case.

The hearing had been set to continue on Wednesday before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, but was deferred to August 26.

Mr Mliswa told the judge that he needed more time to prepare his witnesses and brief an advocate.

Justice Bhunu granted the postponement with the consent of Cde Guzah’s lawyer Adv Sylvester Hashiti.

Last week Justice Chinembiri Bhunu ruled that a registered voter can lawfully stand as a candidate in a National Assembly election even if he or she is not registered in the particular constituency vied for.

He also ruled that a criminal record was not a reason to bar one from contesting in an election.

Justice Bhunu announced the landmark decision during the pre-trial conference held in his chambers.

In his petition, Mr Mliswa — the immediate-past legislator for the constituency — argued that Cde Guzah was not qualified to contest in the by-election because he was not a registered voter in Hurungwe West.

He also argued that Cde Guzah had a criminal past and that he was at law not allowed to contest in an election.

Mr Mliswa further argued that Cde Guzah used violence, vote-buying and intimidation to win the by-election.

In the by-election held on June 10 this year, Cde Guzah polled 5 961 votes against Mr Mliswa’s 4 239.

The by-election arose after Mr Mliswa was expelled from Parliament when Zanu-PF wrote disowning him.

He had been booted out of the party for acting against the party’s leadership in connivance with expelled former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru.