HARARE – ZANU PF and the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC candidates, who were vying for the councillorship for Ward 8 Manyame have joined forces to fight an MDC Alliance candidate, accusing him of being a convict.
The applicants are Innocent Chasvinura and Alford Madovi, while the respondent is Tichaona Munhunepi, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscillah Chigumba and Zec.
According to court papers, Munhunepi, who is an MDC Alliance member, stood as a candidate for Ward 8 Manyame as a councillor during the just-ended harmonised elections held on July 30.
He stood against Chasvinura and Madovi, who are Zanu PF and Khupe-led MDC candidates respectively.
“We have since discovered that the first respondent (Munhunepi) does not qualify to stand as a candidate since he was convicted for perjury as defined in Section 183 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 or alternatively defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in Section 184 (1) (d) of Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23…,” the pair told the court.
They told the court that it is not in dispute that when one wants to contest in an election, the preamble qualification is of good standing. The candidate must have a clean criminal record and no previous convictions.
“Prima facie, first respondent has no locus standi to stand in and participate in the said harmonised election for want of qualification particularly on good standing enshrined in 2 (a) (i) of the Electoral Act Amend of 2018.
“Technically, the first respondent is a fugitive of the law since the Zimbabwe Republic Police, is ever looking for him to effect arrest but in vain. The first respondent is currently on a warrant of arrest…issued against him sometime in December 2015,” the court was told.
The duo further told the court Munhunepi had filed an appeal against both conviction and sentence, but the appeal was thrown out in November 2015.
“The dismissal of the appeal automatically means the judgement of the court a quo becomes effective and virtue of that he does not qualify to stand as a candidate for
local authority elections in terms of Section 2 (a) (i) of the Electoral Act amendment number 6 of 2018,” the two submitted to the court.
They further said that by registering as a candidate for the local authority elections, Munhunepi misrepresented to the electoral body that he does not have any criminal record.
“This renders his candidature a nullity hence we are approaching this honourable court seeking an order to declare null and void his candidature or in the event that third respondent declares him a winner, his declaration to be councillor for Ward 8 Manyame be declared null and void ab initio and upon doing so second respondent be ordered to call for elections for councillor for Ward 8 Manyame,” the pair demanded.
Munhunepi, has not yet respondent to the court application, which has been filed with the Electoral Court.