ZIMBABWEAN authorities have stopped the persecution of former Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba after withdrawing perjury charges levelled against him last year for allegedly plotting to manipulate the electoral process in his favour during the 2018 general elections.
Councillor Gomba, who contested and won the 2018 local authority elections as a candidate of the opposition MDC-Alliance political party and served as Mayor of Harare from 2018 to 2020, was arrested on 16 March 2022 and charged with perjury as defined in section 183(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 10(1)(a) of the Justices of Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act.
Prosecutors from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had alleged that in 2017 at Ruvheneko Primary School in Harare’s Glen Norah high-density suburb, Councillor Gomba lied when he submitted an Affidavit of Residence Voter Registration (Form VR9) in terms of the Electoral (Voter Registration) Regulations, 2017 to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials for the purpose of registering himself as a voter in Harare Municipality Ward 27 purporting to be a resident at House Number 5756 Glen Norah B suburb.
Councillor Gomba, who was represented by Harrison Nkomo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was also charged with contravening section 37(1)(a) of the Electoral Act for allegedly misrepresenting that he resided at House Number 5756 in Glen Norah B suburb, when he registered himself as a voter in Ward 27 in Harare.
However, he was set free on 3 May 2023, when he appeared before Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje, after prosecutors withdrew charges levelled against him before plea thereby granting him freedom from prosecution, which he had undergone for more than one year