7 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Moyo Takes Poll Fight to Supreme Court

INFORAMTION Minister Jonathan Moyo this week filed an appeal against the dismissal of his election petition as he refuses to give in to defeat.

Moyo lost the Tsholotsho North seat to MDC-T's Roseline Sipepa Nkomo in last year's harmonised elections.

He however made it into Cabinet through President Robert Mugabe's charity.

By picking Moyo, Mugabe however went back on a vow made during a foreign trip to Japan that election losers would not be appointed to Cabinet.

Moyo has approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Electoral Court to dismiss his petition against the poll outcome.

The Zanu PF politburo member is appealing against the entire judgment by Justice Martin Makonese.

He argues that dismissal of his petition without a trial was in contravention of Section 171 of the Electoral Act, which makes a trial mandatory.

Moyo wants the top court to set aside Justice Makonese's ruling and direct that the case be tried by a different judge of the Electoral Court

Justice Makonese had ruled that the Moyo's challenge against his defeat was fatally defective and of no force and effect for want of compliance with the law.

The judge said referring the matter for trial under such circumstances where the petition relied on vague and imprecise grounds "amounts to a fishing expedition."

But Moyo, through his lawyers, Job Sibanda and Associates, said the judge erred and misdirected himself.

"The court a quo erred at law in finding that the form of the petition adopted by the appellant was not in accordance with the Electoral Act and Regulations," argued Moyo's lawyers.

"The court a quo misdirected itself when it described the appellant's papers as voluminous but on the other hand as vague and imprecise and finding that the allegations were vague and general, when in fact they were succinct and precise.

"The Electoral Court completely misunderstood the basis of the petition."

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