The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has withdrawn perjury charges against former Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba, effectively putting an end to the legal proceedings that had been ongoing for over a year.
Councillor Gomba, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), was accused of plotting to manipulate the electoral process in his favor during the 2018 general elections.
The charges stemmed from allegations that he provided false information in an Affidavit of Residence and misrepresentation of his address while registering as a voter in Ward 27 of Harare Municipality.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed the latest developments.
“The prosecution of former Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba has been stopped after @NPAZim withdrew perjury charges levelled against him last year for allegedly plotting to manipulate the electoral process in his favour during the 2018 general elections.
“Councillor Gomba, who contested & won the 2018 local authority elections as a candidate of the opposition MDC-Alliance political party & served as Mayor of Harare from 2018 to 2020, was arrested on 16 March 2022 & charged with perjury as defined in section 183(1)(a) of Criminal.
“Code as read with section 10(1)(a) of the Justices of Peace & Commissioners of Oaths Act. Prosecutors from @NPAZim had alleged that in 2017 at Ruvheneko Primary School in Harare’s Glen Norah high-density suburb, Councillor Gomba lied when he submitted an Affidavit of Residence,” ZLHR said.
Prosecutors from the NPA argued that he lied about residing at House Number 5756 in Glen Norah B suburb.
Represented by Harrison Nkomo of ZLHR, Councillor Gomba vehemently denied the accusations throughout the legal proceedings.
On May 3, 2023, he appeared before Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje, where the NPA made the surprising move to withdraw the charges before a plea was entered, effectively granting Councilor Gomba freedom from prosecution.