Dabengwa agitates for new electronic voters' roll

HARARE - The leader of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu), Dumiso Dabengwa, has filed an Electoral Court challenge demanding an electronic voters’ roll from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

The revered former guerrilla leader is also demanding that the commission compiles a new voters’ roll and register in accordance with the country’s new Constitution.

In the application, the former Home Affairs minister, who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, cited Zec chairperson Rita Makarau, the electoral body itself, chief elections officer and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa as respondents.

Dabengwa, who stood as a presidential candidate for his party in last year’s election, said he had a right to act in the public interest in terms of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The former Zanu PF politburo member said Zec should comply with five key provisions of the country’s Constitution and the Electoral Act.

The ex-Zipra intelligence supremo said according to the country’s new Constitution which came into force on May 22 last year, every citizen over the age of 18 had a right to vote.

However, he noted, since the new Constitution came into effect, the commission had not complied with its function to register voters on a continuous basis.

Dabengwa said without the registration of voters, there could not be an election in terms of the Electoral Act.

“I understand from articles in the press in September 2014, in relation to filling a vacancy in the Senate for Manicaland Province and the eligibility of (former Reserve Bank Governor) Gideon Gono to fill that vacancy that the commission claims that there is, at present, no legal framework for voter registration and that as a result nobody can be registered as voters,” he said.

The Zapu leader said it was Zec’s obligation to ensure continuous voter registration, in order to keep an up-to-date voters’ roll, which should be readily available to members of the public, upon meeting the necessary requirements.

“If, as the commission apparently now contends, it has no power in terms of the Electoral Law to register voters, this would inevitably lead to the dire conclusion that it is unable to carry out one of its most fundamental constitutional functions,” Dabengwa said.

Dabengwa further stated that it was not sufficient for the commission to take over and use the old voters’ roll from the registrar-general.

“It is incumbent on the commission to compile a completely new voters’ roll,” he said.


Comments (16)

Hiko kanye. You are right. Be careful of ngwena.

Lever Dewah - 11 December 2014

Way to go Dabengwa. Your colleagues in the opposition are sleeping on the job. They will wake up in 2018 with exactly the same electoral conditions, which they had a chance to chenge in govet and which they can pressure to have them changed now. They always choose to sleep, busy watching the developments in Zanu PF with awe. Come 2018, the will be asking everyone including themselves, whether to participate in the elections or not.

madagara kasulumane - 11 December 2014

I support you Dabengwa. Even Mugabe confirmed that he has not been winning elections and is in power through cheating

Sigwell Moto - 11 December 2014

the way to go Cde Dabengwa. Even if it means mobilising people on to the streets to agitate for transparent voter registration so be it. we are behind you 120%

Great idea from a great mind - 11 December 2014

this time around we don't want a doctored voters' roll. kana kuchienderwa kuhondo a sound voters' roll this time ndozvichaitika ndozvichatoitika, enough of the barbaric manipulations of people's fundamental rights

WE demand a clean voters roll before 2018 - 11 December 2014

problem kunge ta tungamirirwa na save. save vanozosvika kubva ku seychelles kumafaro nema mrs nyaya inonga yatopera kare vozongoti court court nukev. tsvangai leader kwaye ari committed kwete vanhu ve purezha.

zvirozviyedzwa - 11 December 2014

Spot on Dumiso but i think you should also mentioned that zec must go on educating voters in rural areas and telling them that they should resist threats , violence and that they shall be no war again in this country even if they vote for a political party of their choice . Zec must stop spending time in harare the capital city of the colonialists but they must go into rural areas where voters have little knowledge about their voting rights .

Diibulaanyika - 11 December 2014

Good point Cde Dabengwa but an electronic voters roll will not solve the problem because we have a brutal dictator who will stop at nothing to stay in power. The clear and present danger for the country is Robert Mugabe and senior cadres like Dumiso should be brave enough to man up and challenge this monster. The facts that are coming out would seem to suggest the MDC has won all elections since 2002 but never got a chance to take charge because of flagrant violations of the law.

Disaster - 11 December 2014

This is the best news iv heard in months. How can we remove zpf when they are busy registering only their supporters. Well done Dabengwa. Tsvangirai is sleeping on the job

Kerima - 11 December 2014

According to the last census, Zim has 8million adults over 18years yet has a max of only 3million active voters. Where are the other 5million voters? Which party do they support? Why are they not voting?

Put Nikuv on sanctions - 11 December 2014

In 2013 elections, Harare, Epworth and Chitungwiza got 5 voter reg teams to register 3million ppl in 1month. 3 of the 5 teams were more based in Zanus Harare South. By comparison Mash Central with a pop of 1.1million got 43 voter registration teams. So where is the democracy?

Medissa - 11 December 2014

Dabengwa should join Tsvangirai and the fired Zanu gamatoxians to push for a clean voters roll or else the impeachment of the President.

herrita - 11 December 2014

Zanu has already set sites on 2018 by forming an electronic registering commitee which ensures their members are simultaneously registered both in the partys roll and the national Voters roll. APO ANYONE NOT IN THE PARTY WILL GO THROUGH THE RIGOROUS MUDEDE EXCLUSION TRICKS>

Punyuka - 11 December 2014

True that ZPF has now has an electronic party register which automatically transfers only its members to the voters roll.

gwen t - 12 December 2014

Well done Mr. Dabengwa, the country needs leaders like you. The leading opposition party of MDC is currently mulling to fight a senseless losing battle by taking ZANU PF over the ouster of VP Mujuru instead of looking at the broader picture, that broader picture being why they keep 'losing' elections to ZANU PF. One of the most critical areas to look at is of course the voters' roll, without a clean one it will be a repeat of the same discourse come 2018.

Dr Know - 12 December 2014

No praises necessary as this is what we expect from our opposition leaders. Lets stop complaining about what we can do & support such non-violent initiatives to ensure they become a reality for the sake of our country's future

saundy - 12 December 2014

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