Court challenge against ‘convicted thief’ deputy mayor’s election

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

ZAPU’S Ward 3 losing councillor in the July elections, Nomalanga Dabengwa and Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust have jointly filed an application at the Electoral Court in Bulawayo seeking the disqualification of Bulawayo deputy mayor, Tinashe Kambarami claiming that he was once convicted of theft.

The applicants also cited the Bulawayo City Council, the MDC Alliance and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in the application which was filed under case number EC/18.

“This is an application to declare the election of 1st respondent as councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo and also as deputy mayor for the city of Bulawayo null and void on account of his disqualification as will be stated,

“1st respondent (Kambarami) is one of the many councillors who submitted their papers to the nomination court to be considered as a candidate for election as councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo.

“His papers were accepted by the 3rd respondent (ZEC). He represented MDC A (Alliance). It has however come to our attention as an organisation that 1st respondent has a criminal record. He was charged and convicted of theft,” reads part of the application, jointly filed by Dabengwa and Dorothy Ndlovu, who claimed to be Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust secretary.

The two applicants alleged in their application that Kambarami was convicted on June 27 2018 under case number crb1981/18.

They argued that it terms of the law, he is supposed to be disqualified following his alleged conviction.

“He was and is in terms of the law disqualified from being councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo, or any ward for that matter, in terms of section 119 (2) (e) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13).

“It is important to note that 1st respondent was convicted on account of his own plea of guilty.

“As an organisation, we could not sit back and watch an illegality being perpetuated. We believed, rightly so that it was and is our duty to seek that this clear illegality be corrected.”
The applicants said they had given Kambarami a chance to voluntarily to resign but he had refused.

Kambarami and the MDC Alliance who are represented by the Mqhawe Mpofu of Samp Mlaudzi and partners are opposing the application.

It is not yet clear whether ZEC and the Bulawayo City Council have filed their opposing papers.