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Settle voters roll dispute outside court, says Judge

01 Dec 2023 at 04:56hrs | Views
ELECTORAL Court judge Justice Esther Muremba on Wednesday directed the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to find common ground on a dispute over the voters roll before the matter is heard in court.

Muremba gave the two parties up to yesterday morning to "find each other" in a matter in which CCC Mabvuku-Tafara constituency candidate, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi, is demanding a polling station-based voters roll for the December 9 by-elections.

In his founding affidavit, Kufahakutizwi, who is being represented by Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said he had written to Zec on several occasions demanding the voters roll, to no avail.

He wants Zec to release the document within 48 hours of the order.

Zec, however, opposed Kufahakutizwi's application arguing that it had availed the voters rolls to contesting parties.

On its official X handle yesterday, Zec said it had availed the voters rolls.

"Zec availed voters rolls to contesting political parties' candidates soon after the sitting of the nomination courts," Zec said.

Under the Electoral Act, Zec is obliged to give candidates copies of the roll soon after confirmation of their candidature.

However, Kufahakutizwi is demanding a polling station-based voters roll.

"I am advised that in terms of our law, the voters roll is polling station-based. Therefore, a voters roll which does not match the polling station in an election is no voters roll at all," he said in his affidavit.

"Specifically, as a candidate, I have a clear right to have ‘reasonable access to all materials and information necessary for me to participate effectively' in an election as provided for in section 155 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."

Opposition political parties, electoral watchdogs and other stakeholders have expressed concern over the failure by Zec to provide the voters roll whenever it is requested.

Source - newsday
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