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ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau, Monday admitted that Keith Guzah the MP-elect for the Hurungwe West was not a registered voter in the constituency but instead his names appears in Magunje.
Makarau also admitted that Guzah, the Zanu PF candidate, had in fact been declared winner even though he had not been able to vote in the June 10 by-election.
“On polling day, Keith Guzah was denied the right to vote as his name was not on the voter’s roll for Hurungwe West (because) the Commission had issued a position statement that only those on the voters’ rolls would be allowed to vote.
“His (Guzah) old block number was captured as his new block number and the transfer was therefore not effected on the computer. He was retained on the voter’s roll for Magunje,” Makarau said in a statement.
However, the ZEC chairperson, in the same statement, maintained Guzah had been “lawfully and procedurally nominated as a candidate for the Hurungwe West by-election”.
This is despite the fact that the “transfer”, reportedly done at the Commission’s offices in Harare had, in Makarau’s own words, not been effected.
“The V3 Form setting out his application for transfer of registration as a voter bears Serial Number 010599A and is available for inspection to all interested parties.
On the basis of the above transfer, Keith Guzah was duly nominated as a candidate for Hurungwe West on 08 April 2015 when the nomination court for that by- election sat,” said Makarau.
She argued that Guzah’s name was not electronically captured onto the Hurungwe West roll “because of a transposition of the block numbers relating to his old and new registrations”.
Former Hurungwe West MP and independent candidate Temba Mliswa warned he was ready to take on the election management body.
“I will be writing to ZEC today (Monday) after consultations with my legal team. The onus was on the candidate to make sure their papers are in order.
“ZEC’s admission makes this a very interesting scenario; the laws of this country must be tested and Makarau and her officials must give a better explanation than this patch-up job they are trying,” said Mliswa.
The opposition MDC-T, through spokesperson Obert Gutu, urged ZEC to declare Mliswa the winner of the by-election.
“ZEC has no other option but to formally declare that Keith Guzah is not the duly elected MP for Hurungwe West constituency because he was not a registered voter for that constituency at the time the by–election.
The purported nomination of Guzah as a candidate in the said by-election was null and void ab initio because he was not a duly registered voter for that constituency when the nomination court sat,” Gutu said.
“In accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, the only persons who can participate in a Parliamentary election or by-election are those persons who would have been validly and lawfully nominated.
“In terms of the Electoral Act, the winner of an election is the lawfully and validly nominated candidate who scores the highest number of valid votes cast.
“It, therefore, follows that ZEC should proceed to declare Temba Mliswa as the duly elected MP for Hurungwe West constituency. source-newzimbabwe
photo-Justice Rita Makarau- Zimbabwelatestnews