Man arrested after chewing ballot paper at polling station

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A 35-year-old man has been fined $15 000 or risks spending a month in jail for chewing ballot paper he had been handed to cast his vote during the just-ended by-elections on March 26.

Tendai Artwell Gonye was fined after admitting to chewing the ballot paper when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko.

Gonye (35) of Mabvuku, went to Simudzai Primary School to cast his vote in Ward 21 for the local authority by-election at around 4pm.

Upon arrival at the polling station, Gonye produced his particulars and was given a ballot paper to vote.

He then proceeded to the voting booth and marked the ballot paper.

Gonye then came out of the voting booth and walked away without placing the ballot paper in the ballot box.

He was stopped by police officers who advised him to place the ballot paper in the box.

Gonye refused and became violent.

He then stashed the ballot paper in his mouth, chewed it and spit the pieces on the ground, leading to his arrest.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Chinyoka (36) and Tafadzwa Mupanguri (37) appeared at Mbare Magistrates Court last week for also violating the Electoral Act.

The State had it that Chinyoka of Mufakose at around 3pm went to Crowborough Sewage Works polling station to cast her vote during the just ended by-elections on March 26.

She then allegedly produced a national identity card in the name of Zvanyadza Chinyoka, who happens to be her sister. It is said that Chinyoka was given two ballot papers one for Member of Parliament and the other for local authority.

She then went on to cast her vote using her sister’s ID and went away.

After 30 minutes of casting her vote, Zvanyadza went to the same polling station to cast her vote.

It was when she was told that she had already voted. Upon being questioned, Zvanyadza indicated that it could have been her sister who had used her ID.

Mupanguri, of Highfield, allegedly went to Mbizi Primary School, Ward 25 in Highfield East to cast his vote.

He then produced a national identity card in the name of Zvikomborero Mupanguri. A polling officer told him that the ID belonged to Zvikomborero Mapanguri, but he insisted that he was the owner of the identity card.

He was taken to the police where he was found with a birth certificate with his actual name, Tafadzwa Mupanguri.

— Herald


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