By Bulawayo Correspondent
FORGERY accused MDC Bulawayo ward 24 councillor, Arnold Batirai Dube (33)’s case failed to kick off Friday after both the State and the accused‘s lawyer agreed to postpone the matter to January next year.
Dube is facing charges of Contravening Section 147(1) (d) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.
He is also facing charges of contravening “Section 188 (a) (b) as read with Section 137 (1) (a) of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 Conspiracy to commit a crime of forgery or alternatively Section 136 (a) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 “’fraud'”.
It is the State’s case that July 31, 2018, Zimbabwe held its 2018 harmonised elections in which both Dube and one Gideon Mangena were MDC Alliance candidates in local government elections in respect of Ward 24 Nketa constituency.
According to State papers, Dube is accused of distributing leaflets in the vicinity of a polling station.
“In that, on the 31 st of July 2018 and at or near Salvation Army church polling station Nkulumane, Arnold Dube, being an MDC Alliance local government candidate in respect of Ward 24 for the 2018 harmonised elections, unlawfully distributed on polling day, leaflets on his behalf within three hundred metres of the Salvation Army polling station,” reads part of the charge sheet.
According to the State outline, Dube and Mangena were co-candidates in the same Ward elections.
“The State will allege that the accused in a bid to mislead both the voters, unlawfully distributed letters which falsely asserted that he was the sole candidate for the MDC Alliance and that there was no one allowed to use the MDC Alliance logo as MDC Candidate and further lied that Mangena was expelled from the party,” the State alleges.
Dube is also accused of forging the signature of former MDC Director of Elections Sesel Zvidzai.
The offence was discovered by alert members of the public who went on to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and police.
Investigations led to the arrest of the MDC politician as well as the recovery of 80 pamphlets which he had distributed. The state will produce the pamphlets as evidence.