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MDC-T candidate challenges Sithembiso Nyoni's victory

by Staff reporter
25 Sep 2023 at 21:57hrs | Views
Chief Ndlovu, the unsuccessful Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) candidate for Nkayi North, has taken his case to the Electoral Court, seeking to invalidate the victory of Sithembiso Nyoni from Zanu-PF in the August 23 election. Ndlovu's dissatisfaction arises from the number of voters who required assistance in the constituency.

In the election, Nyoni secured 5,492 votes, while Ndlovu received 4,065 votes. Mandla Ndlovu, representing the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), obtained 3,110 votes, and independent candidate Mathema Sithabisiwe received 804 votes. Nyoni has since been appointed as the Minister of Industry.

In his legal application, Ndlovu names multiple respondents, including Sithembiso Gile Nyoni, Mandla Ndlovu, Sithabisiwe Mathema, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), and several others.

Ndlovu, represented by Lovemore Madhuku Lawyers, argues that ZEC failed to conduct the elections in accordance with the principles outlined in the Electoral Act concerning assisted voters.

He contends that over 1,500 voters received assistance in voting, which accounts for more than 12 percent of the total voters. Ndlovu deems this figure as "wholly unrealistic" given the high literacy levels in Nkayi North. He asserts that ZEC's conduct in this regard did not align with the provisions of section 59 of the Electoral Act (2:13).

Ndlovu's affidavit states, "The contraventions of the aforesaid section 59 of the Electoral Act (2:13) were in the following respects: None of the persons assisted was illiterate as required by section 59 of the Electoral Act."

He further alleges that ZEC's presiding officers did not ensure that assisted voters were genuinely illiterate, and many of these voters were not informed that they could select an assistant of their choice.

Ndlovu also highlights the absence of special registers as mandated by subsections 3 and 6 of section 59 of the Electoral Act (2:13).

He claims that the disregard for the provisions of section 59 of the Electoral Act led to an abuse of the facility intended for illiterate and physically handicapped voters, with the aim of favoring Sithembiso Nyoni.

Ndlovu alleges multiple violations of section 59 of the Electoral Act, asserting that this non-compliance had a significant impact on the election results. He suggests that there is reasonable doubt about the outcome had these voters either cast their votes without assistance or strictly adhered to section 59 of the Electoral Act.

Additionally, Ndlovu accuses Nyoni of securing her victory through corrupt practices and electoral misconduct. These alleged practices include removing campaign materials and intimidating voters at polling stations during voting hours. Ndlovu claims that Nyoni's agents, including the 6th to 13th respondents, were involved in these actions.

Ndlovu seeks a declaration that Nyoni was not duly elected as a member of the National Assembly for Nkayi North constituency on August 23, 2023, and requests that Nyoni's seat in the National Assembly be declared vacant immediately. He also seeks an order directing the Speaker of the National Assembly to inform the President of the vacancy in the Nkayi North Constituency.

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