Electoral Court endorses minister’s poll win

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By Mashonaland East Correspondent

TRANSPORT and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza was recently confirmed as the winner of Murewa South constituency by an Electoral Court judge.

Matiza, who is also the Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairperson, was last year dragged to court by rival and independent candidate Noah Mangondo who challenged the minister’s marginal win last July’s crunch elections.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Matiza polled 10,808 votes against 10,653 for Mangondo. 

Mangondo was forced to contest as an independent after being expelled from Zanu PF for defying a party directive not to contest Matiza in the party’s primary vote ahead of the national elections.

Challenging the election result, Mangondo raised complaints over the manner in which ballot boxes and other election material were transported from various polling stations across the constituency to the command centre in Macheke.

He further argued that Matiza and his campaign agents used illegal and intimidatory methods to secure victory at all costs.

However, Electoral Court judge, Justice Esther Muremba dismissed Mangondo’s petition, ruling it was “fatally defective” as he had failed to name all the people who influenced the poll outcome in favour of Matiza.

“The petition as presented by the petitioner (Mangondo) is fatally defective because it does not comply with the requirements of the Electoral Rules,” she ruled.

“The cause of the complaint must be clearly and concisely pleaded in the petition at the time of its presentation.

“The reason for this is that the respondent (Matiza) is entitled to know the reason why his election is being challenged so that he is able to answer the case.”