New Zimbabwe.com

MDC-T raw and angry; mulls lawsuit, ‘extra judicial remedies’ as ZEC refuses to issue them with a copy of voters’ roll

By Anna Chibamu

THE MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa says it will soon take Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to court if it fails to avail a provisional copy of the voters’ roll.

Registration of voters is still on-going as President Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to proclaim the election date.

Speaking during a press conference in Harare at the party headquarters on Tuesday, MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said Zec has refused to furnish them with a copy of the provisional voters’ roll.

“MDC-T has written to Zec to be provided with a copy of the voters’ roll. Zec has refused to furnish us with a complete voters’ roll- an analysable provisional copy of the voters’ roll version-but it has insisted on the individual verification of the voters’ roll in different sectors.

“In terms of the constitution of Zimbabwe, we are entitled to that information that is necessary for the protection of our rights or defending of our interests.

“Therefore, if Zec persists in not giving us a copy of the provisional voters’ roll, we have a number of options available to us. One of them is obviously going to the courts and the other one is taking extra judicial remedies. We are hopeful that Zec will see sense in furnishing us as a key stakeholder with a voters’ roll.

“For those anomalies that we have found as a result of our visits to various centres, we have brought these to the attention of Zec which has promised to rectify them but, should they not do that, we have sought, through high level political platforms, to engage with the electoral body and other political parties,” Mwonzora highlighted.

On the refusal by Zanu PF government to have the diaspora vote, Mwonzora had this to say: “If Zec’s problem is logistical as it has said, we can limit the diaspora vote to the presidential vote only so that more than 4 million voters who are living outside the country might not be disenfranchised.

“There is an absence of political will from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.”

Party Chairman Morgan Komichi who chaired the press conference weighed in adding that there were many issues at stake that Zec needed to tackle and implement in terms of electoral reforms so that the election can have a plain field for all parties involved.

“We continue to wonder if there is going to be any transparency in the voter ballot printout,” said Komichi.

In a statement he added, “If ZEC cannot produce a clean voters’ roll, then it casts an aspersion on the credibility of this upcoming election. Little wonder why there was little information and voter education on inspecting the Voter’s roll, and the refusal by ZEC to give us a copy of the provisional voters’ roll.

We demand a searchable copy of this voters’ roll so that we are able to assist ZEC in identifying all the duplicates and fictitious names in the current roll.”

On ballot paper printing, Komichi said; “We are barely a month away from the election and our demand for an open tender system with regards to the printing of the ballot papers and other election materials has been ignored by the Mnangagwa administration.”

He added, “The MDC will not allow for the only amendment to section 22A of the Electoral Act that allows Zec to establish more polling stations for an area that has a larger voter population. We will not accept the establishment of undesignated polling stations as this will open the vote to manipulation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the following matters remain outstanding and need urgent resolution: observation of the printing of the ballot papers, External/Independent audit of the voters’ roll, Militarisation of ZEC, Militarisation of the electoral process”.

Also, Komichi said, “this election should be SADC and AU guaranteed.”

“We demand that these and other reforms be implemented if this country is going to have a truly free, fair and credible election,” he said.