Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the presidential election last week, has filed two separate applications at the Electoral Court requesting several election materials and information that he intends to use in drafting his main election challenge. This comes amid reports that the MDC-T leader was struggling to come up with evidence to back his claims of widespread rigging.
President Mugabe won 61 percent of the presidential votes, with Mr Tsvangirai trailing at 33,9 percent while the other three contestants shared the remaining 4,97 percent.
In one of the applications filed by Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practice, Mr Tsvangirai wants the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be compelled to provide him with:
a) The specific number of spoilt ballots that were cast in the presidential election per constituency.
b) The specific number of assisted voters that cast their vote in the presidential poll per constituency.
c) The specific number of voters that were turned away and failed to cast their ballot on polling day per constituency.
In the second application prepared by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners, Mr Tsvangirai made a request for 14 different election items, including:
- Full Presidential results per constituency
- Copies of the voters’ roll used in all polling stations.
- Copies of voters’ roll used in the special voting process on July 14 and 15 2013.
- Register of those who managed to cast their vote in the special voting process of July 14 and 15.
- Register of those who had been authorised to vote but failed on July 14 and 15 2013.
- Register of special voters who subsequently managed to vote on July 31 after failing to vote on July 14 and 15.
- Registers of assisted voters at all polling stations in the election
- Copies of the voters roll used in the postal voting delimited by ward and constituency.
- Copies of electronic voters’ roll.
- Register of those who were turned away from the polling stations and reasons thereof.
- Registers of those whose names did not appear in the voters’ roll but were allowed to vote using slips.
- Register of authorised postal and special voters.
- Contents of the closed and sealed ballot boxes and sealed packets delivered to ZEC’s chief elections officer,
- Number of spoilt ballot papers recorded nationally.
Mr Tsvangirai indicated in the two applications filed yesterday that he was in the process of drafting a petition that will be filed with the Constitutional Court and he needed the material urgently so that he meets the seven-day period allowed to do so which expires tomorrow.
The applications were filed late yesterday and they were still to be set down for hearing.
In the applications, Mr Tsvangirai argues that the material he required was in the custody of ZEC chief elections officer and that the sealed boxes cannot be opened without a court order.
Mr Tsvangirai’s lawyers wrote to ZEC requesting for the material on August 4 this year, but there was no joy due to the absence of a court order.
He highlighted his intention to challenge the election saying the special ballot was chaotic and that it might have resulted in the manipulation of the vote.
Mr Tsvangirai also argues that failure by the Registrar-General to timeously avail the electronic voters’ roll used in the special vote and on July 31 created real apprehension that the voters’ roll was tampered with.
He further argues that failure by ZEC chief elections officer to ensure safe and proper custody of election material relating to the special vote also created a window for manipulation of the vote.
Mr Tsvangirai also contends that the ballot papers may have been tampered with in terms of design and printing.
The ink used in the voting process, according to Mr Tsvangirai, could easily be washed off and hence creating the real risk and possibility that those who voted on July 14 and 15 may have been allowed to vote again on July 31.
Meanwhile, another MDC-T losing candidate Mr Jameson Timba also took ZEC to the electoral court with demands almost related to those by Mr Tsvangirai.
Mr Timba lost the National Assembly seat to Zanu-PF’s Cde Jason Passadi and is challenging the result.