Mt Pleasant legislator Samuel Banda’s trial in a matter which he allegedly falsified his home address during electoral registration to enable him to represent the constituency has opened a can of worms as witnesses say they rigged.
The State’s first witness Warship Dumba has accused the MDC Alliance of rigging elections by having non- members of constituencies campaigning for top posts without being residents.
Dumba told the court that investigations were underway in Epworth as an offence of a similar nature is suspected to have been committed.
“The MDC Alliance was rigging the just ended elections by appointing non- residents as candidates in the elections just as they did with Banda. After I reported the case of Banda, I have since been receiving anonymous calls and tip offs of where this has been happening as well and I know for a fact that the police are investigating a similar case in Epworth,” he said.
Banda (43) is facing charges of contravening the Electoral Act and he was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
Allegations are that sometime 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 in order for him to register as a voter in that constituency when in actual fact he did not reside there.
The State alleges that Banda went on to depose an affidavit of residence for voter registration to ZEC commissioner of oath, purporting to be residing at that address.
It is further alleged that Banda was subsequently registered as a voter in Mt Pleasant constituency where he contested for the House of Assembly seat and eventually won.
The legislator, who resides in Mabvuku and is represented by Job Sikhala has denied the charge saying his opponents want to tarnish his image.
Banda is out on $50 bail and the matter has been remanded to January 3.
The matter has been rolled over to Monday for trial continuation.