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MP Elect Appears in Court, Misses Swearing in Ceremony

Arnold Tsunga (right) and his brother, Regai Tsunga
Chikanga-Dangamvura Member of Parliament-elect Arnold Tsunga missed Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony in Harare as he appeared before a Mutare magistrate facing criminal nuisance charges emanating from the July election campaign trail.

The state alleged that Tsunga used three vehicles in a procession, creating a motorcade during the campaigning period ahead of the July 31 elections. The police charged he needed clearance to go around the city in a motorcade.

Manicaland provincial magistrate, Lucy Anne Mungwari, presided over the case while Andrew Motsi prosecuted.

The case was withdrawn before plea due to lack of evidence.

Tsunga’s lawyer, Tinoziva Bere, told VOA Studio 7 it was sad that his client had to miss the official swearing-in of parliament because of such a flimsy matter.

He says Tsunga and 49 others were arrested on the day and were detained overnight, only to be released after paying admission of guilty fines the following day.

Bere complains the state wasted everyone’s time.

Bere said his client will now have to be sworn-in on another day as he seeks to represent his constituency in parliament.

Motsi said the state will proceed by way of summons if it manages to gather enough evidence to use against Tsunga, who is also the Africa Director of the International Commission of Jurists.