Mliswa to contest Guzah poll victory

via Mliswa to contest Guzah poll victory | The Herald June 24, 2015 by Fidelis Munyoro

Temba Mliswa, who contested as an independent candidate and lost in the Hurungwe West by-election, is today expected to approach the Electoral Court challenging the victory of Zanu-PF lawmaker Keith Guzah.

Guzah polled 5 961 votes against Mliswa’s 4 239 in a hotly contested by-election on June 10.

Mliswa’s lawyer Mr Msindo Hungwe of Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere Legal Practitioners told The Herald yesterday that they were ready to challenge Guzah’s victory in court.

“We believe that our legal argument is unassailable,” said Mr Hungwe.

He said they have finished drafting papers and were ready to go to the Electoral Court.

“We are filing our petition first thing in the morning tomorrow (today),” he said.

“For the finer details of what is contained in the petition, the world has to wait for the filed copy.”

Sources close to the matter said Mliswa’s lawyers have instructed a top lawyer Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara to argue the petition.

The move to challenge Guzah’s victory comes after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Monday cleared the air on the alleged bungling in handling the Hurungwe West by-election.

ZEC declared that Guzah was lawfully and procedurally nominated as a candidate for the Hurungwe West by-election, although he failed to cast his ballot in the polls.

It emerged that Guzah did not vote because his name was not yet appearing on the Hurungwe West Constituency voters’ roll after he transferred his voting registration from Magunje Constituency.

ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said notwithstanding that he had transferred his registration as a voter to Hurungwe West, Guzah’s name was not electronically updated on the voters’ roll for that constituency because of a transposition of the block numbers relating to his old and new registrations.

“His old block number was captured as his new block number and the transfer was therefore not effected on the computer,” said Justice Makarau.

In line with ZEC’s policy to avoid counterfeit slips, Guzah was denied the right to vote in the by-elections.

Justice Makarau challenged anyone with evidence that Guzah voted to approach the electoral body for further investigations.

Reports in sections of the private media claimed that the electoral body accepted Guzah’s nomination papers without verifying.

However, Justice Makarau said the Zanu-PF candidate’s nomination was qualified based on his transfer whose V3 form was there for inspection by anyone.