Losing Hurungwe West independent candidate Temba Mliswa yesterday produced video evidence in court showing blatant vote-buying and intimidation by his rival Keith Guzah in the by-elections.
Mliswa is seeking the nullification of Guzah’s victory in the June 10 by-election. Apart from vote-buying, Mliswa accused Guzah of intimidating him and blocking him from campaigning.
In the footage shown before High Court Judge Tendai Uchena, Guzah is seen receiving donations from businessman Phillip Chiyangwa ahead of the Hurungwe West by-election.
Part XIX of the Electoral Act and specifically section 136 (1)(c) criminalises making “any gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for any person in order to induce such person to procure or endeavour to procure the return of a candidate at an election or the vote of a voter at an election”.
According to the Act, anyone found guilty can be liable to a two-year imprisonment. The goods consisted 100 footballs which Guzah is heard saying will go to 16 wards and about 600 bags of cement. Chiyangwa also promised to give Guzah $1 000 every week for campaigning.
Guzah vigorously objected to the production of the video evidence in court, arguing that it was not recorded as part of exhibits in Mliswa’s application.
Justice Uchena overruled the objection. Mliswa said in another incident, Guzah donated rice to voters in order to buy votes at a meeting that Mliswa had convened. The meeting had been cleared by the police.
“I even suggested to Keith Guzah that I would not take time to address the people but he refused to listen and chaos once again reigned,” Mliswa said.
“He addressed people to follow him about 20 metres away so he could give them rice and they could vote for him and not vote for me because I did not have rice.”
Mliswa told the court that the police just stood by and watched as everything unfolded.
The former Hurungwe MP, represented by Kudzai Kadzere, said this was the second attempt he had made to meet the people but was blocked.
Mliswa claimed that Guzah went further to organise a farm invasion of his Spring Farm to also block him from accessing the constituency.
He told the court that Guzah, in his capacity as vice chairman of Mashonaland West, held meetings and instructed youths wearing Guzah’s T-shirts to invade the farm.
Guzah is being represented by Sylvester Mashiti. daily news