MDC-T challenges new voter registration process




MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai

Harare ‑ The Zimbabwean High Court on Monday deferred to Thursday the hearing of an urgent chamber application by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T, where the main opposition political party is seeking an order to suspend the new registration of voters, saying the country’s elections management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), is “ill-prepared” to conduct the exercise.

The opposition party on September 13, through their lawyers Rudo Magundani and Evans Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness, filed the urgent chamber application challenging President Robert Mugabe’s proclamation which he made on September 8, arguing that Zec was not prepared for the beginning of new registration of voters.

They said the electoral body did not have both sufficient equipment and trained personnel to commence the registration exercise.

High Court judge Justice Davison Foroma deferred the case to Thursday after Mugabe’s representatives indicated they needed time to study and respond to the opposition party’s sit-down application.

Mugabe proclaimed September 14, 2017, as the date upon which new voter registrations would begin and January 15, 2018, as the last date upon which claims and applications for registration shall be received in all wards and constituencies.

Magundani and Moyo argued that notwithstanding Mugabe’s proclamation, there was a risk of disenfranchisement of voters because of the “premature” proclamation and the period prescribed in Mugabe’s proclamation was “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”.