1 September 2013

Zimbabwe: 'Moyo Risks Being Charged With Contempt of Court'

Roselene Nkomo, the MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect for the Tsholotsho North constituency, says former MP Jonathan Moyo risks being charged for contempt of court for describing a recent ruling by Judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha as a wrongful denial of a vote recount.

In her opposing affidavit filed on Friday, Nkomo said Moyo's appeal for a new election within 60 days should be dismissed, as there was no evidence to warrant the setting aside of her electoral victory.

She said Moyo, a former minister of information, must be careful how he couches "his case least he falls foul of the contempt laws of the country".

Nkomo submitted that Moyo's petition papers were replete with the material defects to render the petition seriously flawed.

She said she prayed that the petition be dismissed.

"Rules of the court and the [Electoral] Act require the petitioner to clearly spell out the grounds upon which he relies upon to bring the petition," she submitted. "The petitioner has failed dismally in doing so, as he only sought to defer the explicit requirement to the affidavit he has done.

"I submit that this requirement does not allow such a course of action."

Nkomo said Moyo failed to outline the relief he sought, and he only wanted to bring the issue of a recount, which she says cannot be raised as grounds for the petition.

She said it was obvious that Moyo filed the petition just because he lost the election.

Nkomo also submitted that the court must reject the abuse of its process by Moyo, a Zanu PF politburo member, as he was not a special person, and he must abide by the law.

"The petitioner has to be advised that he has to be careful how he couches his case, lest he falls foul to the contempt laws of the country," she submitted. "The recount was stopped at this honourable court by an order of Justice Kamocha. The order was lawfully sought and lawfully granted."

Zec ordered a recount, but the decision was quashed by Justice Kamocha following an application for review by Nkomo.

Nkomo polled 4 800 votes to beat Moyo who garnered 4 646.

VOTERS' ROLL FLAWED:JONATHAN MOYO

In his petition, Jonathan Moyo had indicated that many voters were turned away and cited a flawed voters' roll, and that some voted using slips while they were unregistered, an issue which Nkomo said was national and cannot be the basis of setting aside the outcome of the election.

Moyo also said he was not properly served with the papers of the application for review, which Nkomo filed against him.

The former Information minister challenged the result and demanded a recount, alleging numerous irregularities in the way the process was handled by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

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