By Staff Reporter
GIFT Konjana should be a very angry man, cursing his gods after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ‘stole’ his votes and gave them to a rival candidate in the 2018 Chegutu West parliamentary election.
The manipulation in the tallying of votes denied the opposition his outright victory as the legitimate Chegutu West MP and representing the constituency in Parliament.
Konjana contested the 2018 parliamentary election under an MDC Alliance ticket, but a flawed counting process by ZEC resulted in the electoral body declaring Dexter Nduna of Zanu PF the winner.
Soon after the count and declaration of Nduna as MP-elect, Konjana demanded a recount and it was discovered some votes cast in favour of Konjana were instead unlawfully counted as Nduna’s.
ZEC admitted the anomaly but informed Konjana to seek redress through the courts as it had no powers to reverse the announced results.
The opposition activist immediately filed a petition at the Electoral Court raising his objections on the result.
However, in October 2018, the Electoral Court judge, Justice Mary Zimba-Dube dismissed Konjana’s election petition on the basis that it was defective. Konjana appealed against the Electoral Court judgment at the Supreme Court and a ruling is yet to be made.
However, for Konjana, whether the Supreme Court ruling will come out in his favour or not, he considers himself the people’s MP for Chegutu West despite the numerous electoral and judiciary setbacks.
“My case is still before the courts in the Supreme Court. I will continue to fight as a matter of principle. The stakes are high, but still, I am determined. I pray that one day I will get justice,” he told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview last week.
“However, this is not in any way stopping me from executing my mandate as a people’s MP. I continue to be proactive in the constituency. I have a number of initiatives that I am carrying out. Am happy that am still connected with the grassroots.”
Konjana said the streets of Chegutu, farms, mines, and the Bulawayo-Harare highway had become his Parliament as he engages the electorate he says was robbed of victory by a corrupt system.
“The dusty streets of Chegutu, the sprawling and once productive Chegutu farms and plots, the artisanal mines and highway have now become my Parliament,” he said.
“I thank God, who continues to give me counsel, wisdom, and friends who continuously make a difference in my constituency.”
Konjana also serves as the MDC-T Chegutu West district chair using the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the MDC-T reverts to its 2014 structures to hold an extraordinary congress to elect a new president to replace the party’s founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai who died in February 2018.