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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Defends Election of Zanu PF MP

FILE: People queue to vote in a referendum at a polling station in Harare, March 16, 2013.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the Hurungwe by-elections and elections in general has declared that Zanu-PF lawmaker, Keith Guzah, was lawfully and procedurally nominated as a candidate for the hurungwe west by-election.

ZEC said Guzah was "subsequently validly elected as the member of the national assembly for the constituency."

In a press statement released today, ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau said for the harmonised elections of 2013, Guzah was a registered voter for Magunje constituency.

On 23 March 2015, he lodged an application with the ZEC at its head office voter registration centre, based at Quantum Mahachi Building, to transfer his registration as a voter from Magunje to Hurungwe West.

On the basis of the transfer, the statement said, Guzah was duly nominated as a candidate for Hurungwe West on April 8, 2015, when the nomination court for that by- election sat.

Makarau though admits that Guzah’s name was not electronically updated on the voters’ roll for that constituency because of a “transposition of the block numbers relating to his old and new registrations.”

ZEC admits that Guzah did not even vote. Studio 7 reached Guzah who declined to comment. But Hurungwe West independent candidate, Temba Mliswa, tells Studio 7’s Blessing Zulu that Guzah must be disqualified.

National Constitutional Assembly president and constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, accused ZEC of deliberately trying to mislead the public.