12 September 2017

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Drags Govt to Court, Says Mugabe Hurriedly Pronounced Voter Registration Dates

Photo: Umsoto/Flickr/IRIN
President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (file photo).

The Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking the reversal of the voter registration proclamation dates by President Robert Mugabe.

President Mugabe last week declared that voter registration would start on the 14th of September and end of on 15th January next year.

The aged leader said after the 120 day voter registration deadline he would then pronounce the election date.

According to the MDC-T, the application was filed Tuesday and could be heard Wednesday.

MDC-T argues that President Mugabe should not have proclaimed voter registration dates before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) procures Biometric-metric Voters Registration servers which store data.

The party's secretary general Douglas Mwonzora told New Zimbabwe in Harare Tuesday that ZEC and opposition political parties have not yet agreed on voter registration centres.

"We have also noted that the 400 BVR kits which have arrived are only for training. The proclamation sets January as the last month of voter registration, this effectively rules out people who are going to turn 18 after January," he said.

The opposition said they have discovered that thousands of potential voters were still to get identity documentation (IDs).

"Thousands of people have no IDs and they are being denied to access them by high and huge frees which the Registrar general's office is charging, and all this would restrict them from registering to vote and these are some of the issues we need addressed before Mugabe proclaims voter registration dates," said Mwonzora.

The Registrar general's office has just started issuing out IDs to citizens using mobile registration centres throughout the country and there are reports that communities are failing to access the services because of exorbitant fees charged by Tobaiwa Mudede's officials.

Last week, Epworth residents approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights asking for legal assistance to challenge the exorbitant fees charged for the procurement of IDs by the Registrar General.

Mudede is charging $50 from people whose IDs are marked alien. An alien, according to the law, is a person who one of his or her parents were born in another country other than Zimbabwe.

The Registrar General is also charging $10 from a person who would have lost his ID, $15 for a person who is over 18 years and is taking the ID for the first time. They are also demanding $5 from children over the age of 5 years to obtain birth certificate(s).

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