Only the guilty are afraid

HARARE - IF the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zec, has nothing to hide, surely it should have handed over all election materials to all contesting parties.

Then, there would be no need for the ongoing court process in which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is frantically trying to compel the courts to order Zec to hand over election materials.

The Electoral Court’s decision on Wednesday to reserve ruling on such an urgent matter meant Tsvangirai cannot mount a strong challenge in court tomorrow since he wanted to use the material in question to consolidate his poll challenge to the just-ended July 31 harmonised presidential election that saw Mugabe winning by 61,09 percent while Tsvangirai got 33, 94 percent.

If there is nothing to hide, then Zec and indeed Zanu PF must cooperate in the court process since they would have nothing to fear.

Only the guilty are afraid. We hope due process is allowed to take its course without any hindrance.

Releasing the material that the MDC is demanding will go a long way in proving Zec’s assertion and indeed that of Zanu PF that the electoral management system is sound and efficient.

Zec’s reluctance to make available election materials to the MDC will give reasonable grounds that this election was rigged.

We see no prejudice to the authorities if they simply avail what the MDC is requesting — after all, it is a democratic right for anyone aggrieved to pursue such a legal and lawful path in search of redress. That is what the Electoral Court was created for in the first place.

It is not a crime that the MDC has taken the legal route because they are exercising their constitutional right as an interested party in the just-ended election.

We hope that the courts will not take long to solve this case because there is not enough time to continue delaying the judgment.

What we have been hearing from the State-controlled media and Zanu PF seems to point to the fact that it is not possible to open the ballot boxes.

That means results have to stay as they are. Is opening these ballot boxes akin to opening a Pandora’s Box?

We urge Zimbabweans to be steadfast, calm and look forward to the courts to deal with this urgent matter without fear or favour  In other words, the law must be allowed take its course.

We hope Zanu PF will not rush to inaugurate Robert Mugabe before all court challenges have been exhausted.
As it stands, Mugabe  is just a president-elect until the court process has been concluded.

While Zanu PF may cry foul over the delays in the inauguration of Mugabe, it is testimony that the legitimacy of whoever will be inaugurated is contested.

Tomorrow will be an important day for Zimbabwe as the Constitutional Court hears Tsvangirai’s petition.

Comments (2)

Daily News's appreciation of the law still leaves a lot to be desired especially after spending all those years failing to publish after failing to comply with the law. ZEC has to follow what the law says. They do not just release information to anyone because they have asked for it. There are procedures to be followed before all that information is released and Tsvangirai knows that, at least I think he does. We expect our journalists to inform and not misinform and mislead. By law ZEC needs a court order to release the information. ZEC has already said they are ready to avail any information required as long as the relevant court order is issued.

Dzvinyangoma - 16 August 2013

Even if the daily news is not very well versed in Zimbabwean law, one thing is clear, and that is the judge's failure to make a judgement (indefinitely) is clear testimony of the restriction of democratic space in the country and the payment of shadowy election rigging outfits from the Registrar General's office and not treasury is a clear example that we are ruled by the most vicious dictatorship of our times! In democratic countries, both Mudede and Mugabe would by now be in Chikurubi. But all dictatorships end disastrously as we all know. Enjoy the gravy train while you can Dzvinyangoma because you know that the diamond money you are getting is illegal and the people of Zimbabwe will one day have justice.

matombo chiremba - 18 August 2013

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