Lack of ev­i­dence sees Zec of­fi­cial ac­quit­ted

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Wayne Zanamwe Mid­lands Re­porter

A ZIM­BABWE Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (Zec) of­fi­cer who was last week ar­rested for al­legedly can­vass­ing votes for an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date dur­ing a Gweru coun­cil elec­tion has been ac­quit­ted.

Ephraim Hodzi (37), who was fac­ing one count of can­vass­ing for votes, was ac­quit­ted by mag­is­trate Mrs Phathek­ile Msipa.

Mrs Msipa said there was no ev­i­dence prov­ing that Hodzi can­vassed for votes dur­ing the polling con­ducted in July.

She said the per­son whom Hodzi was al­leged to have tried to in­flu­ence did not make any for­mal re­port but the mat­ter was brought up by Zanu-PF polling agents who were at the polling sta­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tor, Mr An­drew Ma­rimo said on July 23, Mrs Dza­mira was the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer at Mambo Sec­ondary School in Gweru dur­ing the Ward 7 poll.

“The ac­cused was one of the polling of­fi­cers who were vet­ting vot­ers at the en­trance be­fore en­ter­ing to cast their votes. On the same day there was Chemedzai Maburo in the queue wait­ing to cast her vote,” said the pros­e­cu­tor.

He said Ms Maburo went to Hodzi when her time to vote came.

Dur­ing that time, the court heard, Hodzi whis­pered to her say­ing, “Vote In­de­pen­dent vote in­de­pen­dent.’

“The com­plainant didn’t re­spond at that time and went through the vot­ing process. The ac­cused made ges­tures to her to check if she had done as per in­struc­tion,” said Mr Ma­rimo.

He said out­side the polling sta­tion, Ms Maburo in­formed a ZANU-PF agent about what had tran­spired.

The mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice lead­ing to the Hodzi’s ar­rest.

Zanu-PF won the poll to claim a seat that had been in the hands of MDC-T since 2008.

The elec­tion was trig­gered by the death of Gweru Deputy Mayor Coun­cil­lor Artwell Maty­orauta in April this year due to a heart prob­lem.

Cde Stan­ford Muko­tami polled 571 votes against the in­de­pen­dent can­di­date, Mr Artwell Mu­ty­orauta, the late deputy mayor’s son, who se­cured 317 votes.

An­other in­de­pen­dent can­di­date, Mr Josh Katazo gar­nered 143 votes. —@wyn­nezane

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.