Former Harare mayor and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) member Herbert Gomba was arrested on Monday on accusations of perjury and contravening electoral laws.
On Saturday CCC said Gomba (45) was missing after becoming unreachable on his phone just hours after police went to his house looking for him.
Gomba handed himself to the police on Monday in the company of his lawyers and was promptly arrested.
According to ZimLive, police had planned to charge Gomba with arson over a 2020 incident in which a car belonging to Gilbert Mbwende was set on fire outside his home in Belvedere.
Mbwende is the MDC-T’s Highfield East candidate for the 26 March by-elections.
After Mbwende had indicated that he wanted to withdraw the charges, Gomba went into hiding waiting for the charges to be withdrawn.
Mbwende withdrew his complaint on Sunday, and the following day, Gomba went to Harare Central Police Station with his lawyer Harrison Nkomo confident the charges had fallen away.
However, police arrested Gomba, accusing him of violating the Electoral Act on issues related to voter registration.
Police accuse Gomba of registering as a voter using a Glen Norah address where he does not live.
Gomba is also accused of registering a further 12 voters using his parents’ address and yet some of the people do not reside at the address.
The complainant is Jephson Matewe, the ZANU PF candidate for the Ward 27 by-election who has lost to Gomba three times in a row.
In the 2018 elections, Gombo garnered 7 676 votes to Matewe’s 1 918.
CCC says the charges are meant to block Gomba from contesting for the council seat in the 26 March by-elections.