A TEACHER who visited Nketa Hall polling station last Wednesday to cast his ballots, ran amok and overturned tables with ballot papers after the polling officers tried to stop him from making a phone call, was on Friday fined $100 for violating electoral laws.
REPORT BY SILAS NKALA
Leornard Sibanda (53) pleaded guilty to contravening the electoral law when he appeared before Bulawayo acting regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere. The magistrate convicted and fined him $100 or alternatively 45 days in prison. The State led by Tinashe Dzipe said Sibanda went to Nketa Hall polling station on July 31 with the intention of casting his votes.
On arrival, he made a phone call while at the polling station entrance. It was the State case that, he was shouting at the top of his voice on the phone. A police officer manning the polling station advised him to go outside the polling station to make the call, but he refused and continued to raise his voice.
Police officers tried repeatedly to remove him from the polling station by force, but he pushed himself into the hall and violently pushed the tables on which the ballot papers were placed. Sibanda became violent, as he resisted attempts to eject him from the polling station, venting his fury on tables and chairs.
He was later arrested. In a related case, Neville Sithole (24) of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, was also fined $100 or 30 days in prison after he went to a polling station to cast his votes, but instead spoilt the ballots before photographing them with his mobile phone. He pleaded guilty to violating the electoral law when he appeared before the same magistrate.
The court heard that on July 31 Sithole went to Cowdray Park terminus tent polling station to vote. He went through all the formalities and as he was filling his ballot papers he deliberately spoilt them and then after spoiling them he photographed the ballots. A polling officer Ntandoyenkosi Satamwe heard the flashing sound of the mobile phone from where Sithole was and she alerted the police officers present.
After casting his ballots the police officers intercepted him and took his mobile phone which they checked for the photographs and discovered that he had spoiled the ballots and photographed them. This led to his arrest. Twitter feedback @silasnkala