Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo yesterday decided to go it alone, filing a petition at the Electoral Court demanding a fresh election be held in Tsholotsho North constituency within 90 days, at a time his party has dismissed similar approaches by the MDC-T, saying the move was futile.
Ironically, the petition comes at a time Zanu PF Matabeleland North has said Moyo was to blame for his loss, as he started campaigning late.
In his founding affidavit through his lawyer Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates Legal Practitioners, Moyo says he was wrongfully denied a “lawfully requested and lawfully warranted recount under confused and confusing circumstances that in my respectful opinion constitute a material breach of the Act”.
Moyo says on July 31, when voting ended and counting of votes started across the 10 wards that make up the Tsholotsho North constituency, he received reports that there had been “serious incidents during and after counting of votes, which had compromised the authenticity of the results in Tsholotsho North constituency, and which, in the main, necessitated the recounting of the votes to ensure the integrity of the process and its outcome”.
“The reported incidents included widespread cases of presiding officers counting the votes alone with their polling officers, without the involvement or the participation of polling agents, who were later asked to sign V11 forms to confirm the votes that they had not counted,” he alleged.
The former minister alleges that at Sandawana Primary School polling station in Ward 8, the presiding officer Simanga Moyo conducted herself in an unlawful manner by phoning three “possibly” unregistered people, who had initially been turned away to come back and vote.
The former minister alleges that at Mbuhulu Primary School polling Station in Ward 2, the presiding officer Thiliwe Magonya prevented polling agents from participating in the counting of votes, “which counting was done in a hurried and opaque
manner before polling agents were asked to sign and confirm votes that they had not counted.”
Moyo alleges that there were cases of intimidation by polling officers on polling agents. He argues that his chief election agent, Vincent Moyo, did not sign the declaration of the election result, but wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) requesting for a recount.
Moyo argues that he was not served with papers for an order barring the recount in the constituency, as had been initially announced by ZEC and did not receive an order setting aside the decision to conduct a recount.
The Zanu PF politburo member claims a number of people were turned away, despite having brought adequate identity documents. However, Zanu PF Matabeleland North province yesterday said Moyo was to blame for his loss, as he was not visible on the ground most of the time.
Moyo lost his Tsholotsho North seat to MDC-T candidate Roselyn Nkomo. The Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial executive met at the weekend to conduct a post
mortem of the polls, where Zanu PF won seven out of 13 seats.
Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Richard Moyo said the post mortem meeting resolved that the party leaders, where it lost, were not working well together.
“In some constituencies, the party leadership was not united and were not working together. They did not campaign effectively hence the loss,” he said.
“In Tsholotsho North, they delayed in going to the people, their campaign was delayed.
“The people were yearning for the candidate, but perhaps the candidate was busy at national level.”
Moyo said the party will attend to its deficiencies to make sure that the province performs better than they did in the recent elections. After his electoral defeat, the Zanu PF strategist wrote to ZEC requesting a recount in the constituency, citing a number of irregularities in the manner the votes were counted in the constituency.
However, the Bulawayo High Court set aside the decision by ZEC to recount votes in the constituency. ZEC had scheduled the recount for August 4 before Nkomo successfully sought a High Court interdict.
On August 8, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha blocked the recount on the basis that the decision would be in violation of sections 67 (A) and 70 (4) of the Electoral Court.