9 July 2013

Zimbabwe: Illegal Voter Registration Backfires

Mutare — FOUR suspected MDC-T activists yesterday appeared before a Mutare magistrate facing charges of unlawfully conducting voter education without authority from the Zimbabwe Election Commission.

The quartet - Sydney Chisi (37), Kingston Taziva Machiwana (29), Tichafara Musana (30) and Mathius Masimba Nyamanhindi (33) - were hauled before the town's magistrate Mr Noah Gwatidzo for contravening Section 40 C(1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.

The Act criminalises conducting voter education without approval from the commission.

Prosecutor Mr Sam Chabuka said on July 6, 2013 at around 3pm, the quartet conducted unathorised voter education at Pick and Save Superette in Mutare.

They allegedly played voter education jingles through a public announcement system they were using.

Police recovered three T-shirts and 16-gig memory stick containing recorded voter education jingles.

"Accused persons conducted voter education without approval from ZEC as required by the law," said Mr Chabuka.

The State did not oppose bail resulting in Mr Gwatidzo granting them US$50 bail each.

They were told to stay at their given addresses and not to interfere with witnesses.

Lawyers Blessing Nyamaropa, Passmore Nyakureba and Jeremiah Bhamu are representing the quartet.

The case goes for trial on July 22, 2013.

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