THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has filed papers in the High Court seeking to nullify the Chinhoyi mayoral election won by Zanu PF without a ballot paper being cast.
MDC mayoral candidate, Edeline Chivimbo Huchu, has filed the election petition. Those cited as respondents are Zanu PF candidate Ray Kapesa, the Registrar-General, the constituency registrar for Chinhoyi and the director of the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s office.
The petition follows a declaration by the Registrar-General last month that Kapesa had been duly nominated mayor as no other candidate had filed papers to contest the election. The election was due to be held at the end of the month.
In her affidavit, Huchu said she had filed papers with the nomination court on October 24 and 27. She said what remained was payment of $500 which her agents took to the nomination court on October 28.
“That my papers were submitted in advance was clearly stated by the Registrar of Elections, the third respondent, who indicated that the papers disappeared from his custody on the day of nomination after the court was ‘invaded’ by criminal elements during the commotion which lasted almost 30 minutes,” Huchu said.
In her papers, Huchu said the Zanu PF candidate did not have the required qualifications.
“The first respondent does not have five ‘O’ levels as required by the Act. I am informed that he possesses a Grade ‘E’ in English at ‘O’ level and this is not the pass envisaged by the Act as it is embarrassingly next to nothing,” Huchu said.
Kapesa is also said not to have done tertiary education as envisaged in the Act.
Huchu said there was violence in the area prior to the sitting of the nomination court. She said she was attacked by a group of about 15 people including four members of the “Top Six” gang who wanted to confiscate her nomination papers.
“One of them put a stone under my neck as I lay helplessly on the ground while the other savagely stepped on my neck with his feet squeezing it against the stone and seriously hurting me,” Huchu said.
She said she received treatment at Chinhoyi Hospital and the Avenues Clinic.
She said five of her assailants were apprehended and released on the same day.
“However, as has become the norm in Chinhoyi in respect of these notorious ‘Top Six’ gang pampered heavily by senior Zanu PF and government officials in the province, the five were clandestinely released from police custody despite numerous pending cases against them at the police station,” she said.