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High Court throws out bid to bar Gutu West independent candidate

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High Court throws out bid to bar Gutu West independent candidate



MASVINGO – High Court judge, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe has dismissed an application by a well-known Zanu PF member to disqualify Gutu West independent candidate Martin Sebastian Mudzingwa from contesting the November 11, 2023, by-election.
Justice Zisengwe dismissed Vengai Mubango’s application for a declaratory order on Wednesday in a virtual hearing. He said it was defective and the papers were not in order.
Mubango had filed an urgent chamber application seeking an order to bar Mudzingwa from contesting the by-election because he alleged that he is Village Head Mudzanapamwa under Chief Serima.
“1st respondent’s acceptance of 4th respondent papers at a nomination court sitting at Gutu Magistrates Court on 10 October, 2023, is in contravention of Section 45 (1) (b) of the Traditional Leaders Act Chapter 29: 17 as read with Section 46 (15) (d) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2: 13].
“1st respondent acceptance of 4th respondent nomination papers is a nullity and void,” reads part of the 16 page application.
The matter had seven respondents, the presiding officer of the nomination court, chairperson of the Zimbabwe electoral (sic), Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Commission (sic), Mudzingwa, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) candidate Robson Kurwa, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate Ephraim Murudo and Zanu PF candidate John Clever Paradza respectively.
The application is defective in that two of its respondents, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral (sic) and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Commission (sic) are non-existent entities. It also states that the nomination court was held in Gutu when it was in fact held in Masvingo.
Mudzingwa is related to the late Gutu West independent candidate Christopher Mutonhori Rwodzi who died in a road accident barely a week after the nomination court on June 29, 2023.
He argued that he had since rescinded his title as village head before the October 10, 2023, nomination court.
Mubango was represented by Brian Muzenda of Hore and Partners Legal Practitioners while Mudzingwa was represented by Charles Ndlovu of Ndlovu and Hwacha Legal Practitioners.

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