MDC election petitions dismissed

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HARARE – High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu has thrown out two election petitions filed by losing MDC candidates in the July 31 poll.

The petitions are for Marondera East and  Hurungwe West constituencies.

In the Marondera East constituency, Tracy Mutinhiri was challenging Zanu PF candidate Jeremiah Chiwetu’s election, while Wilson Makanyange was contesting Temba Mliswa’s win.

However, Bhunu upheld the election of the two Zanu PF winning candidates and declared them duly elected Members of Parliament.

“In the final analysis, it is accordingly ordered that both electoral petitions filed by the petitioners are a nullity, void and of no force or effect,” Bhunu said, before dismissing the applications with costs.

Bhunu said that the two petitions did not conform to the format laid down in the Electoral Court rules.

He said the rule requires that once a petitioner names a person as having engaged in corrupt or illegal practices, he will be obliged to give the full name and address of the person guilty of such conduct and serve a copy on the person so that he can respond.

Bhunu, however, said though both parties accused various unidentified chiefs, headmen and other traditional leaders, they did not give their full names and addresses.

“Misinterpreting the law is, however no excuse for not complying with the law, for ignorance of the law is no excuse,” Bhunu said.

He said because of the failure to comply with the rules, the petitions were fatally defective.

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