MDC-T moots suing Zec

MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora

THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-T has threatened to take the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to court for allegedly slowing down the ongoing biometric voters’ registration exercise as part of a plot to disenfranchise mostly urban voters.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ CHARLES LAITON

Party secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, told NewsDay that they had noticed that Zec officials were deliberately registering a few potential voters and turning away large numbers each day.

“They are registering 100 people a day and turning away other people, who would have come to register. This is a go-slow, which will result in potential voters being disenfranchised, in the same manner that over 700 000 voters were closed out in 2008. We cannot have this and we will be taking them to court,” he said.

Mwonzora said Zec should ensure that during the ongoing voter registration exercise, people who want to register to vote are allowed to do so without frustrating them to the extent that they have to wait the whole day or are turned away.

Urban areas were generally considered as MDC-T strongholds.
MDC-T lawyer Denford Halimani said he was already working on an application which he expected to file at the High Court soon.

“We intend to file an application at the High Court seeking an order to compel Zec to do its work in accordance with the law. The law says if anyone appears at a registration centre during normal working hours, he or she must be registered,” he said.

“We see no reason why they are turning down people and only registering 100 people per day. Hence, we want an order saying anyone who approaches Zec anytime during normal working hours should be registered.”

Independent electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Elections Support Network, (Zesn) noted that centres in Harare and Bulawayo were registering few potential voters when compared to other centres.

“Zec must consider establishing more registration centres in Harare and Bulawayo for the continuous registration exercise to increase the numbers of registered voters as the data indicates the lowest registration turnouts in these provinces,” Zesn said.

“There is need for the Zec and [civic society organisations] CSOs to amplify its voter education efforts, particularly in Harare and Bulawayo, since these provinces have the lowest proportions of registered voters.” – News Day