By Wonderboy Dlamini | 2018-08-30
The magistrate’s Court yesterday fined a voter a sum of E1 000 for vote rigging.
This was after the voter attempted to vote two times for the same candidate while using different voter cards.
Ayanda Shiba (22) appeared before Senior Magistrate Donald Mavuso where he faced a charge of contravening Section 76(b) as read with Section 100 of the Elections Act 10 of 2013. The accused person wrongfully and unlawfully attempted to cast a second vote in the same elections which were held on August 25. He is said to have used two different voter cards, with the second one belonging to one Mlamuli Ndzimandze.
The incident is said to have happened at Good Shepherd polling station, which was under Makhewu in Siteki.
Information gathered out of the court is that the accused arrived at the polling station early in the morning and proceeded to cast his vote for his favourite candidate.
Later on the day, he returned to the same polling station and joined the queue with the intention of casting his second vote for the same candidate.
As he was going through the process, the elections officers noticed that the accused already had a mark on his finger, indicating that he had already voted.
When he was questioned, he admitted that he was casting his vote for the second time. It was then that he was handed over to the police who subsequently arrested and charged him with the said offence.
During his appearance before court, the accused person elected to conduct his own defence when he was informed of his right to legal representation.
He went on and pleaded guilty to the charge. The accused person was accordingly found guilty by the court as the Crown elected also accepted his plea without calling witnesses to prove commission of the offence.
During mitigation, the accused told the court that he was not aware that he was committing a crime.
He claimed to have been asked by his brother to use his voter card and vote on his behalf as he was held up with other things. He asked the court to be lenient when passing sentence, saying that he was a first time offender.
The accused was eventually sentenced to six months in a correctional facility with an option to pay E1 000 fine.
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