Home » Governance » Mliswa’s Bid to Stop By-Election Flops

A bid by ousted former Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Mr Temba Mliswa, to have the Hurungwe West by-election postponed hit a snag yesterday when the Electoral Court threw out his challenge.

This means the by-election will today (Wednesday) go ahead unhindered.

Mr Mliswa is standing as an independent candidate in the by-election and in his application, he claimed the army was intimidating his supporters.

Justice Tendai Uchena yesterday struck the case off-the roll because the case had been prematurely set down for hearing before the lapse of the 10-day period provided at law to allow other parties to respond.

The court agreed with the submissions that were made by Mr Itai Ndudzo of Mutamangira and Associates, who was representing Zanu-PF and Cde Keith Guzah.

However, the other two preliminary points raised were dismissed.

The court ruled that there was nothing wrong in the citation of secretary for administration Dr Ignatius Chombo in his personal capacity.

Justice Uchena also ruled that the Electoral Court had jurisdiction to hear an application of that nature.

Mr Msindo Hungwe of Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere law practice appeared for Mr Mliswa while Mr Tawanda Kanengoni of Nyika, Kanengoni law firm represented the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its chairperson Justice Rita Makarau.

Sixteen by-elections are scheduled to be held today countrywide.

Mliswa accused Zanu-PF and the party secretary for administration Dr Chombo of enlisting the services of the military to instil fear among the villagers.

“These soldiers are moving around threatening people perceived to be loyal to me with assault and death if they continue supporting me or vote for me on the election day,” he said.

Mliswa, who claimed to be in possession of video evidence to prove his fears, stated in his papers that Dr Chombo addressed several campaign meetings in the company of Cde Guzah at which he issued threats against Mliswa’s supporters.

He further stated that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its chairperson Justice Makarau refused to take corrective measures against the alleged unlawful actions of Zanu-PF, Dr Chombo and Cde Guzah, who are also listed as respondents in the matter.

Mliswa said in view of the obtaining situation in Hurungwe West Constituency, he had no option but to approach the Electoral Court for relief.

He wanted the court to defer the by-election until the environment is conducive for the holding of a free and fair election.

Source : The Herald