13 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Opposition 'Takes Mugabe to Court' - Report

Photo: IRIN
Election day (file photo).

Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has launched a court challenge against President Robert Mugabe's recent declaration of voter registration dates, says a report.

President Mugabe last week declared that the country's voter registration exercise would begin on September 14, 2017 and end on January 15, 2018.

He said that after the four months registration period, he would then announce the election dates.

Zimbabwe was set to head to the polls next year.

But, according to New Zimbabwe.com, the MDC argued that Mugabe could not proclaim registration dates before the electoral body "procures the biometric-metric voters registration servers which would store data".

The MDC's general secretary Douglas Mwonzora said that opposition parties had not yet agreed on voter registration centres.

Mwonzora said that the exorbitant amounts charged by the office of the registrar general's office for identity documents were also likely going to impact negatively on the poor.

According to reports, the new national identity documents registration was expected to run from September 4 to November 30.

Native applicants were required to pay $10 while aliens are expected to fork out $50 to obtain the IDs.

The MDC had since demanded that the registrar general's office consider issuing free identity documents to poor Zimbabweans ahead of the elections.

The MDC said that it was only fair that poor Zimbabweans be issued with the new identity cards for free, as many of them were not able to pay the $10 required to acquire them.

"No eligible Zimbabwean citizen should be denied a national ID simply because he/she is too poor to pay for the acquisition of such an important document. Similarly, no eligible Zimbabwean citizen should be denied his/her constitutional right to register as a voter simply because they couldn't acquire the relevant national ID," the MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu was quoted as saying this week.

Source: News24

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