Tuesday hearing for Chebundo poll challenge against Matambanadzo victory

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By Staff Reporter

THE poll challenge filed by losing MDC Alliance candidate for Kwekwe Central Blessing Chebundo against National Patriotic Front (NPF) Masango Matambanadzo’s narrow victory in the July 30 parliamentary election is set to be heard at the Electoral Court this Tuesday.

Matambanadzo polled 7 578 against Chebundo’s 7 122.

Chebundo however feels Matambanadzo won the July 30 poll through a combination of vote buying and abusing the MDC Alliance logo after the Zanu PF offshoot entered into a loose coalition arrangement with the main opposition.

“The matter is going to be heard next week on Tuesday. Then we will get a verdict,” Chebundo lawyer, Tonderai Chitere said.

Matambanadzo has however remained unfazed by the challenge.

Through his lawyer Liberty Mashanyare, the former Zanu PF legislator has since denied buying votes.

In opposing the petition brought before the Electoral Court, Matambanadzo indicated that no vote buying ever took place.

“Although the respondent denies having taken malpractices or irregularities, no issues other than that arise.

“Of importance to note is the fact that I defeated Chebundo in 2013 both in the election and in court and come again on the 30th of July 2018, I defeated him again,” Matambanadzo said.

He added, “It is known from history that the petitioner does not accept an election result other than the one in which he is the winner.

“This is not the first time I have won the Kwekwe Central parliamentary seat against the petitioner.
“In 2013, after losing in similar elections the petitioner approached this court with similar allegations but still lost in court.”

Chebundo is also accusing Matambanadzo of using an ambulance he bought using the Constituency Development Fund in his past terms to get votes, an allegation also denied.

“It is wondering to believe that an ambulance with political insignia compels people to vote in a particular way.

“The ambulance was handed over to Kwekwe Municipality as it arrived. I had no ulterior motive. Neither do I hold such motive.

“But the Town Clerk was a candidate in the Zanu PF primary elections for the post of Member of Parliament for Kwekwe Central did not accept the donation in time,” said Matambanadzo is his founding affidavit.

Matambanadzo is the only NPF candidate to have won a ticket to parliament.