Blow for MDC-T BVR case

Mr Mwonzora

Mr Mwonzora

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
A High Court judge yesterday delivered a blow to MDC-T after he ruled its application challenging President Mugabe’s proclamation of biometric voter registration (BVR) dates could not be treated as an urgent chamber application.

Justice Davison Foroma removed the matter from the roll saying it could not be heard in court as an urgent application.

MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the matter was removed from the roll saying they were going back to the drawing board.

“The judge said the matter cannot proceed as an urgent chamber application, but as an urgent court application,” said Mr Mwonzora.

“Our reading of the decision is that maybe the judge does not want this important matter to be heard behind closed doors, but in an open court,” he said.

“If we want to pursue the matter, it will be in open court and we have instructed our lawyers to actually pursue the matter and file an urgent court application.”

On Monday, the judge had to defer the matter because Government lawyers were not ready with their response.

The MDC-T last week launched an urgent chamber application seeking to stop President Mugabe from proclaiming the dates of voter registration.

Through Proclamation No. 6 of 2017, President Mugabe declared that the BVR process would run from September 14 to January 15 next year.

The opposition party claimed there wasn’t enough time to have the new voter registration system in operation.

In its application, the MDC-T claimed President Mugabe should not have proclaimed voter registration dates before ZEC procured BVR servers to store prospective voters’ data.

In his affidavit, Mr Mwonzora said ZEC informed a high-level political party platform involving MDC-T and other political parties that 400 electoral biometric registration kits for training purposes had been procured.

According to the party, it was expected that a further 2 600 kits would be procured for the actual new voter registration process countrywide.

Mr Mwonzora further argued the date fixed to commence new voter registration was highly “ambitious and untenable”.

The MDC-T also raised concerns over the custody, location of servers, transmission of data from polling stations to district servers and national servers and access by political parties to inspect the servers before information was stored in them.

At the official launch of the BVR last week, President Mugabe said he proclaimed the date for the commencement of voter registration on the advice of ZEC.

He said as Government, they were guided by the Constitution and ZEC on how elections are to be run in the country.

The President urged all people aged 18 and above to register in readiness to vote next year.

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