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High Court dismisses ZAPU aspiring MP's claims

by Staff reporter
28 Jul 2018 at 09:27hrs | Views
THE High Court has dismissed an application by ZAPU's aspiring MP for Gwanda Central constituency, Mr Cannicious Nkala, who sought an order directing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to rectify alleged anomalies in the constituency's voters' roll.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo followed an urgent chamber application by Mr Nkala, through his lawyers Tanaka Law Chambers, citing Zec and its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba as respondents.

Mr Nkala wanted an order directing Zec to remove the names of voters from foreign constituencies appearing on the voters' roll for Gwanda Central Constituency.

The aspiring MP in his application argued that the voters' roll had serious irregularities which violated his right to free and fair elections.

In dismissing the application, Justice Moyo said the applicant failed to list the names of the places that fall under Gwanda Central Constituency.

"It would be inadequate to just state that an address is incomplete without stating what precisely is missing in that address. I hold the view that even the information given on the inadequacy of the voters' roll is insufficient, as the founding affidavit has failed to explicitly show such especially with regard to what areas fall under his constituency and what is lacking in the addresses making them incomplete," she said.

Justice Moyo said there was no basis upon which Mr Nkala claimed that the voters' roll was fraught with irregularities.

"It is common cause that the applicant did not approach Zec in terms of section 28 of the Electoral Act and therefore it is my finding that he (Mr Nkala) has failed to bring himself within the ambit of the electoral laws of this country as read with the constitution and cannot be heard on this platform," she said.

Justice Moyo said the applicant failed to adopt the correct procedure when he brought the matter before the court.

"I will not proceed to deal with other points in limine as they are intertwined with the first one on failure to adopt the correct procedure. The application is accordingly dismissed with costs," ruled the judge.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Nkala alleged that when he inspected the voters' roll for his constituency, he found that it had serious anomalies, which were likely to disfranchise prospective voters and affect the election  results.

Mr Nkala said 53 people who registered to vote in Bulawayo, Chitungwiza and other areas outside his constituency were placed under Gwanda Central Constituency.

He said the anomalies and irregularities were a violation of section 155 (1) (a) and (d) and (2) (b) of the constitution, which provides for free and fair elections.

"My right to stand for election is ordinarily affected by the irregularities encapsulated in the voter's roll going to the root of fairness of the elections.

Residential addresses of other voters are incomplete making it difficult to ascertain if they are bona fide voters of the constituency. The foreign voters will influence the outcome of the election in Gwanda Central for the National Assembly seat," said Mr Nkala.

The voters' roll was compiled between September 2017 and June 2018 using the biometric technology. During the inspection period, 114 691 requests for voter registration data corrections were received and effected.

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