MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Professor Jonathan Moyo’s petition challenging the electoral victory of MDC-T’s Roseline Nkomo for the Tsholotsho North seat in the July 31 parliamentary elections was thrown out by the Electoral Court sitting in Bulawayo yesterday.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
In a judgment read on his behalf by Justice Nokuthula Moyo, presiding judge Justice Martin Makonese said Moyo’s petition was fatally defective and was of no force or effect for want of compliance with rule (21) (e) and (5) of the Electoral Applications, Appeals and Petitions of 1995.
“The applicant’s petition is hereby dismissed with costs,” ruled Justice Makonese.
“Respondent, Nkomo be and is hereby declared duly elected member of the National Assembly for the Tsholotsho North constituency.
“The registrar be and is hereby directed to proceed in terms of Section 171(3) (a) (11) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2.13).”
Nkomo and her husband and Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo were in court when the judgment was read out while Moyo was nowhere in sight.
The Nkomos smiled soon after Roseline’s victory was upheld by the court before walking out seemingly pleased with the outcome.
Moyo, who is a Zanu PF politburo member, had lodged a complaint with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) soon after election results were announced in August last year seeking a recount of the votes citing numerous alleged anomalies in the process and subsequently filed a petition against ZEC and Nkomo.
However, Moyo withdrew his petition against all other respondents and focused on challenging Nkomo’s victory.
The other respondents were ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, Tsholotsho district registrar Thandiwe Mlotshwa, district elections officer for Tsholotsho Ewan Zelebu Dube, constituency elections officer Sibongile Sayi and provincial elections officer for Matabeleland North Mark Ndlovu.
According to affidavits by Moyo’s polling agents that were attached to his petition, some presiding officers allegedly conducted the counting process in the absence of the polling agents.
Moyo alleged that there were a lot of irregularities in wards one to nine as well as Ward 21, and sought nullification or a rerun within 90 days from the day of determination by the Electoral Court.
He said his election agent Vincent Moyo and more than 225 Zanu PF polling agents reported incidents of inconsistencies, which compromised the authenticity of the results.
Moyo also alleged that at Manjelegwa Tent Polling Station, the presiding officer Irvine Nkomo arrived at Kapane Primary School collation centre without V11 forms and further alleged that he had wrongfully put them in one of the ballot boxes.
He also alleged that the ballot box was opened without a court order while at Mazwi Tent polling officers openly undercounted votes that were in his favour.