MDC sues Mugabe over voter registration dates

HARARE – The MDC has filed an urgent chamber application seeking to nullify the proclaimed dates for voter registration, arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is unprepared for the process.

Voter registration began yesterday.

In the application, MDC cited President Robert Mugabe and Zec as respondents.

This comes after Mugabe on September 8, through Proclamation No. 6 of 2017, declared that the voter registration process will commence on September 14 (yesterday) and end on January 15 next year.

The MDC has retained Rudo Magundani of Scanlen & Holderness to argue the case.

“On September 5, 2017, the second respondent (Zec) reported during a high level political platform involving the applicant (MDC) and other political parties, that 400 electoral biometric kits for training purposes had been procured. It was expected that a further 2 600 kits would be procured for the actual new voter electoral registration process countrywide.

“The kits work with servers which are used to store biometric data gathered in the registration process. There would be district servers and a national server.

“From the second respondent’s own report that only 400 electoral biometric registration kits have been procured, it is evident that by and large there are no kits to commence registration. The servers have not been procured as yet,” MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said in an affidavit.

Mwonzora on the other hand said that the procurement process for the servers requires a tender process, which would take at least 21 days to complete.

“There are concerns on the custody, location of servers, transmission of data from the polling station to the district servers and the national server and access of political parties to inspect the servers before information is stored and audit information stored on the servers.

“Clearly, the 14th of September 2017 fixed as the date to commence new voter registration is highly ambitious and unattainable,” Mwonzora said.

He further said that the training of personnel that would carry out the voter registration process has not yet commenced, which he claimed confirmed Zec’s unpreparedness.

Mwonzora also told the court that MDC has previously demanded from Zec information on the identity of the people that will be involved in the registration process.

“This is important as applicant along with other political parties has long registered its concern over the possible involvement of security and military personnel in the registration process,” he said.

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