19 September 2017

Zimbabwe: High Court Evaluates Zimbabwe Poll Rigging Concerns

Photo: The Herald
(File photo).

The Zimbabwean High Court is assessing an urgent chamber application filed by the opposition seeking the nullification of a recent proclamation by President Robert Mugabe for the start of new registration of voters ahead of the 2018 elections.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has filed the application seeking an order to suspend the new registrations arguing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was ill-prepared to conduct the exercise. Tsvangirai's party argues Mugabe's proclamation is thus premature Through its lawyers, Rudo Magundani and Evans Moyo, MDC argued ZEC is not prepared for the beginning of new registration of voters as it does not have sufficient equipment and trained personnel to commence the exercise.

The lawyers argued that there was a risk of disenfranchisement of votersvbecause of Mugabe's proclamation while the period prescribed in hisvproclamation was inadequate to complete the voter Registrations and capture all the biometric voter registration data. MDC also protested against the alleged lack of clarity on procurement of and custody of servers, involvement of security personnel, inadequate information on location of polling stations and voter registration. Judge Justice Davison Foroma will rule on the application. Mugabe (93) and his Zanu-PF party, in control since independence in 1980, are accused of manipulating polls to maintain their stranglehold on power. The party is also accused of vote buying and violence against opposition supporters.

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