FORMER Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, has withdrawn an electoral petition challenging his July 31 election loss to Zanu PF’s Never Khanye in the Matobo North National Assembly seat, Southern Eye has learnt.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The MDC-T chairman had been contesting Khanye’s shock win arguing that his election agents were refused entry into a number of polling stations, raising a possibility he was prejudiced of a number of votes.
Moyo polled 5 219 votes while Khanye garnered 5 300 votes in the harmonised elections. On Saturday he refused to comment on the matter saying he was out of town.
“Phone (MDC-T spokesperson Douglas) Mwonzora. He’s the one seized with party issues,” he said. “Right now I am in the rural areas. I can’t comment on that.”
However, Southern Eye has it on good authority that Moyo withdrew his petition last week.
The matter was supposed to have been heard in court today after it failed to start on December 11 last year when Moyo asked for a postponement.
Moyo applied to Electoral Court judge Justice Martin Makonese for a postponement to allow him time to engage a new lawyer after his lawyers Phulu and Ncube Legal practitioners dumped him in November last year.
Phulu and Ncube represented Moyo when he filed the petition at the Electoral Court in Bulawayo on August 15.
On December 11, Moyo appeared in person before Justice Makonese telling the court about Phulu and Ncube’s renunciation of agency.
He did not disclose the reason why his lawyers dumped him, but told the court his party was already in the process of engaging a replacement who had then started looking at the papers.
However, he could not mention the name of the new lawyer.
Indications were that the MDC-T could have failed to pay Phulu and Ncube because Moyo told the court that the confusion was also linked to the fact that money for legal fees came from his party’s head office in Harare.
Mlamuli Ncube from Cheda and Partners representing Khanye, was opposed to the request for postponement, saying Moyo knew that he no longer had legal representation a long time ago, but had not made any effort to engage another lawyer.
Ncube said Moyo’s lawyer had not served him a copy of his renouncement, and was given the copy in court.
However, Justice Makonese ruled in Moyo’s favour and postponed the matter to today, but indicated that another request for postponement would not be entertained as it was important to observe statutes pertaining to petitions, quoting Section 182 of the Electoral Act which specifies that a petition must be dealt with within six months.