Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
ZAPU leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa has filed an application at the Electoral Court seeking to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to immediately take over duties of voter registration and maintaining voters’ rolls and registers in line with the new Constitution.
Dr Dabengwa wants ZEC to comply with the law by taking over from the Registrar-General’s Office duties such as registering voters, compiling its own voters’ rolls, keeping and maintaining voters’ rolls and ensuring that the public has access to inspecting the voters’ rolls as provided for in terms of the supreme law of the country.
He also seeks an order for ZEC to provide the interested public with soft or hard copies of the voters’ roll on request.
It is Dr Dabengwa’s argument that in the 2013 election, Section 6(2) of Part 3 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution gave the Registrar of Voters authority to perform some of the election duties under the supervision of ZEC, but the future elections should now be conducted in terms of Section 239(c) of the new Constitution.
Since August 10 last year when Section 239(c) became operative, Cde Dabengwa argues, ZEC has not yet complied with the law.
Dr Dabengwa’s application filed under Electoral Court Number 01/14, is yet to be set down for hearing. He cited ZEC chairperson, chief elections officer and the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as respondents in their official capacities.
According to Dr Dabengwa’s founding affidavit, ZEC had since last year been violating the Constitution.
“It is my respectful contention that, in breach of the provisions of Section 239(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which has been in force for over a year, the commission has not complied with its function to register voters on a continuous basis.
“In fact, as far as I am aware, to date, the Commission has not registered any voters under the mistaken belief that it does not have the power to do so,” he said.
Without the registration of voters, Dr Dabengwa said, there cannot be any future elections at all in terms of the Electoral Act.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are representing Dr Dabengwa and Zapu in the court application.
ZEC officials and the minister were still to respond to the court application.