MDC-T electoral  challenge hearing date set Justice Rita Makarau

Makarau Rita 4Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The case in which MDC-T is challenging the constitutionality of holding elections before electoral reforms has been set for September 30 at the Constitutional Court.

In an application filed by Artherstone and Cook law firm in January this year, MDC-T argues that the conducting of any election without completing the alignment of laws with the Constitution was unconstitutional.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, its chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, the Registrar-General of Voters Mr Tobaiwa Mudede, President Mugabe, Justice Minister and the Attorney-General were listed as respondents.

The political party argues that ZEC, in terms of the new Constitution, is mandated to register voters, compile voters’ rolls and registers, ensure the proper custody and maintenance of voters’ rolls and registers among others, but it has not yet assumed such duties.

MDC-T, through its secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora, also contests the involvement of civil servants in the voting process as provided for in the Electoral Act.

It is being argued that Section 67(1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution which provides for political rights to all will also be violated if the elections are held in the absence of the electoral reforms.

The parties filed all the relevant papers for the hearing and the registrar of the Constitutional Court has set the matter down for the end of this month.

Attorney-General Advocate Prince Machaya opposed the application saying all the complaints raised by the opposition party were trivial and have since been addressed in the General Laws Amendment Bill, which is now at an advanced stage.

He said the inconsistencies raised by the MDC-T were petty and did not warrant nullification of any election already held or barring any poll that may be conducted in future.

Adv Machaya said there was no need for judicial intervention as the process of aligning the electoral law with the Constitution was already underway.

He further argued that the current legal framework permits elections to be held while alignment of the electoral law is being addressed.

The AG also indicated that the alignment of the laws with the Constitution was a mammoth task that could not be completed overnight.

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