BUSINESSMAN and politician Phillip Chiyangwa was yesterday sucked into the Hurungwe West by-election campaign after video footage showing the businessman presenting 100 soccer balls, bags of rice and cement was played at the High Court.
In the same footage, Chiyangwa is heard promising Zanu PF candidate Keith Guzah, now Hurungwe West MP, $1 000 every week for use in his campaign to outdo independent candidate Temba Mliswa.
The footage was shown to High Court judge Justice Tendai Uchena after the court overruled an objection by Guzah’s lawyer Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, opposing the video’s production by Mliswa.
Hashiti had argued Mliswa was not the one who had compiled the footage and, as such, he could not be the person through which the exhibits were to be produced.
His objection was challenged by Mliswa’s lawyer Kudzai Kadzere, who told the court that in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, there was no requirement that recorded materials could only be adduced by persons who recorded them.
Mliswa is seeking nullification of the election results, arguing that the by-election was marred by violence and vote-buying.
In his evidence-in-chief, Mliswa said the electorate did not express its free will during the voting exercise.
“I came face-to-face with the brutality and violence of Zanu PF perpetrated on innocent people,” Mliswa said.
“I was told I was not supposed to be seen in the area, that I was a sell-out and that I was part of the cabal linked to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru who allegedly wanted to kill the President (Robert Mugabe).”
Mliswa further said at some point, he visited his rural area at Sengwe business centre with his campaign team and was attacked by some Zanu PF youths.
Later, he said, when police went to the area, he was ordered to leave, but instructions were later given to police by Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to have him arrested.
“I was then told I was under arrest and later taken to Magunje Police Station where I was detained together with Jim Kunaka and Farai Kuvheya,” Mliswa said. The trial continues today.