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Lawmaker Contests High Court Order Nullifying Election Result

Kwekwe Central House of Assembly member Masango Matambanadzo says he is contesting a High Court ruling Monday nullifying his election to parliament in the disputed July 31 polls.

The High Court also ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to run another election in the constituency.

Matambanadzo told Studio 7 that he has instructed lawyers, working together with Zanu-PF attorneys, to contest the court order declaring the Kwekwe Central seat vacant and compelling ZEC to start preparing for a fresh election which should be held within the next 10 days.

The Zanu-PF lawmaker said he is contesting the decision because he was not served with the petition papers from the plaintiff, Blessing Chebundo of the MDC-T.

Chebundo had approached the High Court - sitting as an electoral court - to nullify Matambanadzo’s victory in the July 31 polls, citing what his lawyers said were several irregularities.

High Court judge Andrew Mutema granted the order in default. Matambanadzo’s lawyers failed to attend the hearing.

Attorney Tatenda Zishiri, who is working with colleague Nomore Hlabano is representing Chebundo. He told Studio 7 they expect ZEC to comply with the High Court order for an election to be held in 10 days even if Matambanadzo’s lawyers apply to the High Court seeking a rescission of the order.

Only a court interdict can stop the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission from running another election, said Zishiri.

Several MDC-T candidates, who lost in the July 31 national elections, have appealed to the courts saying the results were not credible.

The irregularities they cite include a shambolic voters' roll, the high number of people turned away from the polls, intimidation by some traditional leaders and the high number of people who were given assistance in the voting booths.

Some opposition candidates have also withdrawn their petitions.

The MDC-T formation maintains the July polls were rigged in favor of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, which denies the allegations by the opposition.