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Mt Pleasant MP Arrest, Only A Chamisa, Khupe Rival Fight: Sikhala

The arrest of Mt Pleasant Member of Parliament, Samuel Banda who is standing trial for allegedly giving a false residential address when he registered as a voter in the run-up to the July 30 harmonised elections is only a rival fight between MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and rival party MDC-T led by Dr Thokozani Khupe, the court heard.

Job Sikhala who is representing Banda exposed the Khupe led MDC-T of conniving with the state to fight the main opposition led by Chamisa.

While cross examining state witness Worship Dumba, who was also a candidate in the Mt Pleasant parliamentary elections, Sikhala said he was being used as political tool to squash those from the Chamisa led MDC.

“You know very well that the accused will conquer in the election which he did, but you were only bitter to squash him hoping that the post will be open for you.

“Witness you joined hands with state agents and started to visit the accused person’s residential address in question threatening and intimidating them,” said Sikhala.

Dumba however said that he was only seek justice to the rest of the people of Mt Pleasant by bringing the criminals to book.

“After the accused won the election I then went through the voters role that is when I tried to call the person of the address which the accused person said he resides and he denied him ever staying there, then I reported the matter,” he said.

The State alleges that on December 28 last year, during the national biometric voter registration exercise, Banda misrepresented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that he resided at number 34 Waller Avenue, Mt Pleasant, Harare and registered as a voter when, in actual fact, he did not reside there.

The State alleges Banda went on to depose an affidavit of residence for voter registration (ZEC Form VR-9 to ZEC commissioner of oath) purporting to be residing at that address.

It is alleged Banda was subsequently registered as a voter in Mt Pleasant constituency, where he contested and won the House of Assembly seat.

However, Banda is denying the charges saying he stayed at the given address and grew up there as a tenant but only moved and went Malawi but would come back during holidays.

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