Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa greets supporters before an explosion at an election rally in Bulawayo. Picture: Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Reuters

Harare - Zimbabwean opposition party, the MDC-T, has hauled President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling party, Zanu-PF, to court seeking an order compelling them not to engage in electoral malpractices.

The MDC-T accuses Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF of abusing traditional leaders by making them to act in a partisan manner as well as furthering the interests of the ruling party.

In an urgent chamber application filed in the Electoral Court on June 26, the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-T party argued that earlier in June, Mnangagwa urged Zanu-PF members contesting in the harmonised elections -- which are set for July 30 -- to offer trinkets to chiefs and traditional leaders to buy their support in the elections.

The opposition party argued that Mnangagwa’s utterances, which he allegedly made on June 9 at a Zanu-PF rally in Mutoko, about 145km north-east of Harare, motivated some party members to engage in corrupt practices for the purposes of vote-buying ahead of the elections.

The application also argued that Mnangagwa’s utterances constituted a threat to the free expression of political will and undermined the possibility of holding a free and fair poll.

The MDC-T said the Zanu PF presidential candidate’s actions were in direct violation of the Constitution, the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) and the Traditional Leaders Act (Chapter 29:17).

African News Agency/ANA