Zim court hears opposition party’s challenge of Mugabe’s proclamation of new registration of voters

HIGH Court Judge Justice Davison Foroma will on Monday 18 September 2017 preside over the hearing of an urgent chamber application filed by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party seeking an order to suspend the new registration of voters because the country’s elections management body is ill-prepared to conduct the exercise.

Justice Foroma will hear the urgent chamber application in his chambers at 14:30 hours.

The MDC-T party filed an urgent chamber application on Wednesday 13 September 2017 seeking an order to set aside a proclamation issued by President Robert Mugabe on Friday 08 September 2017 ordering a new registration of voters and fixing dates for the commencement and conclusion of registration of voters in all wards and constituencies in Zimbabwe.

In the urgent chamber application, which was filed by the MDC-T party lawyers Rudo Magundani and Evans Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the opposition party argued that President Mugabe’s proclamation of the start of new registration of voters is premature as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is ill-prepared to conduct the registration exercise.

President Mugabe’s proclamation fixed Thursday 14 September 2017 as the date upon which the new registration will begin and Monday 15 January 2018 as the latest date upon which claims and applications for registration shall be received in all wards and constituencies.

Magundani and Moyo argued that notwithstanding President Mugabe’s proclamation, ZEC is not prepared for the beginning of new registration of voters as the elections management body doesn’t have both sufficient equipment and trained personnel to commence the registration exercise.

The lawyers argued that there is a risk of disenfranchisement of voters because of the premature proclamation and the period prescribed in President Mugabe’s proclamation is inadequate to complete the voter registration exercise and capture all the biometric voter registration data.

The MDC-T also protested against the lack of clarity on procurement of and custody of servers, involvement of security personnel, inadequate information on location of polling stations and voter registration.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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