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MDC Alliance candidate arrested for ‘disorderly conduct’ at polling station

Dete: Police in Dete, Hwange district on Monday arrested for allegedly disrupting elections after he had challenged polling officers at a local polling station over the appearance of some of his rival’s supporters’ names in the wrong ward.

Joseph Bonda (40) of Mabale area was charged with disorderly conduct and for allegedly blocking other voters from casting their votes.

The charge is in terms of Section 133 of the Electoral Act.

This was after he confronted the presiding elections officer Tapera Rowayi over some 68 voters who had been included in Ward 17 of Hwange Rural District Council while claiming they were from Ward 18.

According to Bonda, Zanu PF candidate Siphiwe Mafuwa, who is the sitting council chair for Hwange RDC, forged proof of residency for 68 people from Ward 18 purporting they resided in Mabale village under headman Thoko Nengasha, Chief Nelukoba.

Because he knew some of them personally and knowing they were Mafuwa’s supporters, Bonda raised the issue with police, ZEC, Chief and District Administrator who confirmed that Thoko Nengasha was not a headman but a villager in Madumabisa about 83km away and all her supposed subjects were from Ward 18.

Bonda thought the issue had been corrected only to get a shock of his life when he saw the names still existing in the voters roll on Monday.

The presiding officer instead ordered the arrest of Bonda before he could cast his vote.

Bonda had to beg to be released from police custody so he could go and vote.

Unconfirmed results indicate that Bonda won the election.

He was dragged to the Hwange magistrates’ court on Tuesday.

The case was however not heard after prosecutors referred the docket back to the police station for further investigations. The case will proceed by way of summons.

This was after police failed to provide statements from the voters who were supposedly stopped from voting as a result of Bonda’s conduct.

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