Mangoma drags minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Chigumba to court, demands reforms before polls

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Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe leader, Elton Mangoma has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking an order to nullify some sections of the Electoral Act and align them with the Constitution ahead of the setting of dates for the 2018 elections expected in two months’ time.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Mangoma has cited sections 9(2), 9(5), 12(1), 18(5), 23, 26A, 27, 33, 35, 40H, 40I, 55, 59, 116, 117, 118 and 156 of the Electoral Act as offending provisions.

He is seeking an order to present a substantive application to nullify those sections on grounds that they are inconsistent with the constitution.

Mangoma, who is represented by Chris Mhike, filed his application Wednesday seeking leave to exercise direct access to the apex court for a determination of relevant constitutional questions regarding the Electoral Act.

“The RDZ leader has requested to be allowed to file an application in the ConCourt seeking an order to compel Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon Ziyambi Ziyambi to ensure a comprehensive amendment of the current electoral law by the legislature ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, so as to align pertinent provisions of the Electoral Act with the Constitution in terms of section 117(1) of the Constitution,” the lawyers said in a statement.

In the application, Mangoma cited Ziyambi, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba and Attorney-General Advocate Prince Machaya as respondents.

He argued that various provisions of the Electoral Act were out of sync with several constitutional provisions relating to elections.

The former MDC-T Treasurer General also wants the ConCourt to compel the respondents to ensure compliance with elections related provisions of the Constitution by relevant electoral officials, arguing his application was in the interest of justice.