Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE hearing of the matter in which MDC Alliance candidate for Bulawayo South Mr Muvirimi Francis Mangwendeza is challenging the results of the recently-held elections in which he lost to Zanu-PF’s Cde Rajesh Kumara Indukant Modi, has been set for Friday.
In his petition filed at the Bulawayo High Court through his lawyers Ncube Attorneys, Mr Mangwendeza cited Modi and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) as respondents.
He alleged that the polls were tainted with a lot of irregularities.
Mr Mangwendeza is seeking a court order nullifying the results of the July 30 harmonised elections for Bulawayo South seat and declaring the seat vacant.
In his founding affidavit, Mangwendeza said he was selected as a candidate for the MDC Alliance in the constituency and he contested with several other candidates from other political parties, as well as independent candidates.
He said on July 3, Zec allegedly published a statement declaring that he was part of the 24 people who had withdrawn from the race without his knowledge and verification.
He argued that it de-campaigned him as those who supported him would have thought he was no longer in the race.
Mr Mangwendeza said his loss in the July 30 elections might have been affected by Zec’s declaration. He claimed to have discovered the anomaly on July 28 during the inspection of ballot papers.
“The election for the Member of the National Assembly seat for Bulawayo South on July 30, 2018 was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Electoral Act and such mistake or non-compliance did affect the outcome of the election.
“The election of the first respondent (Cde Modi) in such an election therefore cannot stand and has to be set aside,” he said.
Mr Mangwendeza said during the inspection he realised that some ballot papers for the MP did not have his name on them as a candidate.
“I raised this issue with second respondent (Zec)’s personnel and they confirmed that my name was missing in some ballot papers.
“In that regard, one B Sibanda purported to cancel those ballot papers which had my name missing,” he argued.
Mr Mangwendeza said on July 29, it turned out that more ballot papers had his name missing in Ward 21 and Ward 6.
He said Zec indicated that their system was fool-proof, but it turned out that this was not the case as it emerged that not all the ballot papers in question were cancelled.
Mr Mangwendeza said he received confirmation from various polling stations indicating that most of the ballot papers did not have his names on them.
He said about 50 of his supporters informed him they could not find his name on the ballot papers and some of them filed their affidavits confirming that the ballots had his name missing.
Mr Mangwendeza said on August 1, Zec pronounced the results of the polls and declared Modi as a winner, with Modi having polled 5 752 votes while he garnered 4 155 votes
He argued that had it not been for the ballots without his name, he would have beaten Modi in the polls.
Cde Modi and Zec have not yet responded to the petition.