Fraud accused MDC legislator said losing candidate hates him

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By Mary Taruvinga

MDC MP for Mount Pleasant, Samuel Banda who is being accused of presenting a false residential address to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) before last year’s general elections has claimed that the losing candidate reported a case against him out of hatred

Banda was giving his defense after the State closed its case against him Monday morning.

The legislator is accused of providing false address during the National Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise in December last year.

He won the seat while his landlord, Isaac Chidavaenzi lost to him.

“The only truth is that both witnesses wanted to be MDC Alliance candidates. Almost everything they said about me are lies and was said out of hate or jealousy.

(Former MDC Councillor Warship) Dumba wanted to be a councillor while Chidavaenzi wanted to be the MP but they all lost,” Banda told the court.

“I am so surprised that Mr Chidavaenzi lied that I do not stay at his place of residence yet I’m still staying at his house. I’m surprised that he lied that he learnt that I registered using his place of residence address on radio. Its so shameful.”

Banda is being charged with “making a false statement or fact in any claim or application for registration to vote knowing the statement to be false” as defined in the Electoral Act.

It is the State’s case that, on December 28, 2017 and during the BVR exercise, Banda allegedly misrepresented to ZEC that he was residing in Mt Pleasant.

He is said to have done this in order to register as a voter in that constituency while he did not reside there.

It is alleged that Banda went on to depose an affidavit of residence for voter registration, to ZEC’s Commissioner of oaths purporting to be residing in the low-density Harare suburb.

The State further argues that through the misrepresentation, Banda registered as a voter in the constituency where he contested as an MP and eventually won.

Dumba who lost in last year’s elections then reported a case against Banda.

But Banda said Dumba was heartbroken and a “sore loser.”

It is Banda’s defense that Dumba connived with Chidavaenzi who was devastated after he was disqualified from participating for the same seat under MDC ticket.

He said at that time Dumba defected to MDC T but still lost the election. Banda told court that he stayed at Banda’s place but once worked in Malawi.

He said his local address never changed.