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‘State case against Gomba will fall, meant to tarnish Mnangagwa’ – Chinyoka

Top Harare lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka said the charges of perjury and contravening the Electoral Act levelled against former Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba will fall and are meant to tarnish the image of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Gomba was arrested last Sunday and charged with dubious allegations of fraudulently facilitating registration of 19 people using his parents’ address in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah in contravention of the Electoral Act.

He is also accused of registering as a voter using an address where he does not live.

But Chinyoka on Wednesday said the case was going to fall because there is no law that prohibits one from registering many people at one address.

He also accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the police of tarnishing Mnangagwa with such cases.

“You’ll be shocked to find that registering many people at one address is in fact not a crime. There is no upper limit to the number of registrations at an address. This is just another ploy by the NPA and police to embarrass the President- focus on corruption, not this nonsense,” Chinyoka said on Twitter.

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His sentiments were endorsed by former cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo.

He said: “You are right Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, there’s no law prohibiting the registration of many people at one address; it’s the genius of the affidavit; Zanu PF and the MDC have been doing it ever since; with the MDC outsmarting Zanu PF with the practice in urban areas; and Zanu PF in rural areas!”

Chinyoka further reiterated that, “even if you could somehow fathom a crime out of all this, it would be those who are registered there but don’t reside there that have committed a crime.

“Still, even then, the affidavit merely requires you to say where you live on the day you register, not forever. Waste of time!”

The former Mayor appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court today (Wednesday) to answer to the charges of perjury and contravening section 37(2)(e) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.

The complainant in the case is Jephson Matewe, the Zanu PF candidate for the Ward 27 by-election who has lost to Gomba three times in a row.

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) where Gomba belongs believes the charges are a plot to disqualify Gomba, who comfortably beat Matewe by 7,676 votes to 1,918 in the 2018 elections.

The seat fell vacant after Gomba was recalled by the MDC-T party. Nehanda Radio