By Kumbirai Mafunda
The Supreme Court will on Friday 24 May 2019 preside over the hearing and determination of an appeal filed by Gift Machoka Konjana of MDC Alliance party who is seeking an order to overturn the Electoral Court’s decision confirming Dexter Nduna of the ruling ZANU PF party as the legislator for Chegutu West constituency.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter at 9:30 AM at Mashonganyika Building in Harare in which Konjana also wants the matter to be referred to trial before a different Judge to consider the legal challenge over the erroneous declaration of Nduna as the winner of the parliamentary election by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
In his appeal Konjana, who is represented by Advocate Tererai Mafukidze instructed by Tarisai Mutangi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued that Electoral Court Judge Justice Mary Zimba-Dube erred in October 2018 in finding that his petition against Nduna was fatally defective solely on account of being brought on notice yet section 169 of the Electoral Act makes such notice mandatory.
Justice Zimba-Dube in October 2018 dismissed Konjana’s election petition on the basis that he had filed a defective election petition.
But in his appeal, the MDC Alliance party’s losing parliamentary candidate charged that Justice Zimba-Dube erred by declining to exercise discretion to condone non-compliance with its rules upon erroneously finding that the electoral law does not vest in it the competence to regulate its process yet section 171(9) of the Electoral Act vests such competence.
Konjana argued that Justice Zimba-Dube blundered by placing no significance on the merits of his petition in view of the fact that ZEC acknowledged under oath the error that resulted in the undue return complained against.
As relief, Konjana wants the Electoral Court’s decision to be set aside and in its place be substituted with an order to the effect that the matter be referred to trial on the merits before a different Judge of the Electoral Court.