Outgoing Speaker of Parliament and MDC-T national chairman Lovemore Moyo has filed a petition at the Electoral Court, demanding a fresh election in Matobo North constituency, bemoaning the ejection of his election agents from polling stations, which he said could have contributed to his loss.
Richard Muponde , Senior Court REPORTER
The petition was filed in terms of Section 167 of the Electoral Act.
This follows a similar application by losing Zanu PF candidate for Tsholotsho North, Jonathan Moyo, who also filed a petition at the Electoral Court, with the same demands.
Moyo, who lost the Matobo North seat to Never Khanye of Zanu PF, argued that his election agents were refused entry into a number of polling stations, raising a possibility of prejudice of a number of votes.
“On the elections day, election agents were refused entry into the following polling stations — Silozwe, Sibuntule, Induna Primary School, Gwandavale, Lukadzi, Tohwe, White Waters, Minda Primary School, Matopos Primary School and Bhazha Primary School — even though election agents were there before start of voting,” he said.
“Given the fact that our agents were denied entry, there is a possibility of us having been prejudiced of a substantial number of votes.
“In terms of the law, each candidate is entitled to have a polling agent representing him at the polling station during the conduct of the election.”
Moyo also claimed that there was a double addition of the special ballot vote, which the constituency elections officer Mark Dube is reported to have admitted to.
“I then requested the constituency elections officer for verification and recount before results could be announced,” he continued.
“He had to consult his senior, a Mr Nleya, for permission to reopen the ballot boxes through the phone.
“After the telephone discussion with Mr Nleya, Mark Dube advised us that he was instructed not to reopen the ballot boxes and proceeded to announce the results as they were.”
The MDC-T chairperson also alleges that the vote tally could have been tampered with in four wards of the resettlement areas, as there was a phenomenal increase of voters.
“The 2005 and 2008 elections statistics point to a constituency average of 500 votes in the newly resettled area, which are wards 21, 23, 24 and 25,” Moyo said.
“Surprisingly in the recent harmonised elections, we witnessed a phenomenal increase of voters to 2 260, which represents a 452% increase, which is highly impossible as there are no visible increases of (number of)homesteads and occupants in the area.”
Zanu PF’s Jonathan Moyo is also seeking a fresh election within 90 days, at a time his party has dismissed similar approaches by the MDC-T saying the move was futile.
Ironically, his petition comes at a time Zanu PF Matabeleland North has said Moyo was to blame for his loss, as he started campaigning late.