BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
MUTARE – Newly elected Mutare Urban ward 13 councilor under the Nelson Chamisa led Citizens Coalition For Change – Monica Mukwada – was on Friday granted ZW$10 000 bail.
She is facing electoral fraud charges.
Mukwada appeared before Mutare Magistrate Langton Mukwengi for contravening section 37 (2)(a) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 which states: “Making a false statement of fact in any claim or application for registration knowing the statement to be false or knowing or believing to be true.”
She was remanded to 20 April 2022. She was instructed to commit to strict bail conditions.
It is a state case led by Prosecutor Nyasha Mukonyora, that on an unknown date but during the month of November 2017, Mukwada, who resides at house number 4106 Chikanga 2, ward 13 in Mutare registered as a voter with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) using address 442 Devonshire Farm, Mutare, which is under ward 13 in Chikanga 2 Mutare.
It is further alleged that on 26 January 2022, Mukwada applied to nomination court using number 442 Devonshire Farm, Weirmouth Mutare as a residential address to ZEC in Manicaland.
Mukonyora alleges that she was then nominated as ward 13 councilor under the Citizens Coalition For Change (CCC) on the pretext that she resides at number 442 Devonshire Farm.
The state is arguing that Mukwada supplied wrong information to ZEC pertaining to her residential address.
In an interview after the court case, prominent Mutare lawyer – Chris Ndlovu – who represented Mukwada said: “We find this whole thing ridiculous. We are happy that the court has accepted our bail application. We will challenge the allegations in the next court appearance.”
The court was packed with CCC officials and supporters who came in solidarity.
The party’s provincial chairperson and newly elected Dangamvura/Chikanga legislator Prosper Mutseyami led other officials that include Mutare Senator Keresencia Chabuka, provincial secretary Godfrey Mubatsa and organizing secretary Itai Masaka.
Newly elected councilors that include Kudakwashe Chisango (Ward 18), John Nyamhoka (Ward 17) and Sophia Gwasira (ward 8) among others were also present.