Experts savage Zec over elections

HARARE - Legal experts yesterday savaged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), accusing it of duplicity and dishonesty while trashing the electoral body’s controversial decision to declare Zanu PF candidate Keith Guzah the winner of Hurungwe West by-election despite the fact that he was not a registered voter in the constituency.

In a statement that set tongues wagging yesterday, Zec boss Rita Makarau announced that “Keith Guzah was lawfully and procedurally nominated as a candidate for the Hurungwe West by-election. Experts savage

“He was subsequently validly elected as the member of the National Assembly for the constituency” — citing Zec’s failure to include the Zanu PF winning candidate on the voters’ roll as the reason why he had failed to vote on June 10.

Makarau’s statement was in apparent response to an expose by the Daily News last week that Guzah did not vote in the recently held by-elections for Hurungwe West as he was not a registered voter as required by the law.

Law experts said Makarau’s interpretation of the law was absurd, adding that Temba Mliswa, the independent candidate whose name was properly submitted at the nomination court, should now be the winning candidate by default.

Constitutional law expert and professor of law at the University of Zimbabwe Lovemore Madhuku accused Makarau of being dishonest by declaring that Guzah had been legally elected.

“Makarau is misinterpreting the law. I note her claim that there was an electronic or computer error that failed to put Guzah on the voters’ roll, but that’s beside the point because the law says that anyone aspiring to be an MP should appear on the voters’ roll on nomination.

“He was not on the voters’ roll and her explanation is therefore irrelevant and immaterial because he was supposed to be on the voters’ roll. An application remains an application and the law is clear on that.

“The only time it assumes a legal status is when the name appears on the voters’ roll. If Guzah wants to be voted in Hurungwe West he has to reapply.

“What this all means is that the election of Guzah is null and void, it’s invalid. He was not on the voters’ roll. The validly-elected person is Mliswa and he should be sworn in as the MP for Hurungwe West,” Madhuku said.

After a long meeting at the Zec headquarters yesterday, Makarau said in her statement, “on 23 March 2015, he (Guzah) lodged an application with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission at its Head Office Voter Registration Centre, based at Quantum Mahachi Building, to transfer his registration as a voter from Magunje to Hurungwe West.

“The V3 Form setting out his application for transfer of registration as a voter bears Serial Number 010599A and is available for inspection to all interested parties. On the basis of the above transfer, Keith Guzah was duly nominated as a candidate for Hurungwe West on 08 April 2015 when the nomination court for that by-election sat.”

But Madhuku rubbished both the former Supreme Court judge’s choice of words and interpretation of the law.

“The truth of the matter is that Makarau is not being truthful and this can be seen in the choice of words that she decided to use. She simply chose to be dishonest and that dishonesty arises from the fact that someone like her, chairperson of an important body, communicates to Zimbabweans, educated and uneducated, in a language that uses transposition of block numbers.

“That attitude should be condemned in the strongest possible sense,” Madhuku said.

Supporting Madhuku’s position, Alex Magaisa — a professor of law at Kent University in United Kingdom — said Zec had shown double standards in the saga.

“This is a fire-fighting effort after Zec’s bungling, but this is not good enough. The fact of the matter is that Guzah is an MP in a constituency in which he is ineligible to vote.

“All persons who were turned away from voting on the day because their names were not on the voters’ roll cannot now return and say we should be allowed to vote simply because Zec bungled and did not place their names on the voters’ roll.

“That would throw the whole election into chaos. Yet one of them, the man who was being elected and could not vote because his name was not on the voters’ roll is still able to claim a victory.

“One law for the majority and another for one, it’s absurd. If I were one of those voters I would protest that I was treated differently and would demand my right to vote,” Magaisa said.

Amidst all this, the main opposition MDC led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has vowed not to take part in any elections until requisite electoral reforms are put in place.

The reforms demanded by the MDC include structural changes at Zec, which the opposition claim is infested with State security agents and Zanu PF sympathisers.

In her statement, Makarau cited technical issues such as that “Guzah’s name was not electronically updated on the voters’ roll for that constituency because of a transposition of the block numbers relating to his old and new registrations”.

Comments (18)

The truth is that Guzah could not vote on the day because he was not a registered voter. Not being a registered voter means he could not stand as a candidate in the election. Everything else is not the truth.

tha truth - 23 June 2015

If the law stipulates the boundaries, why flouting it. Its not clear if a person like Makarau can defend this issue. That is why Morgan akati ini ndombomira kusvika zvinhu zvavakuendeka. Tinosvikepi ne madisputed elections all the time. We must learn from our past mistakes and try to improve. It is because all those who are defending this cruel system are getting enough for their children but we shall ask you one day. Smith once said Even in 100 years this country will not be ruled by a black person. But what happened a few months after that. Tichakubvunzai matongere enyu aya. Smith was lucky because Mugabe called for reconciliation.Is this going to happen again. I am not sure because the law shall follow you. Potai muchivernga history. Hitus and the Titsies. Its possible it is going to happen in Zimbabwe but the unfortunate thing is that we will be gone but records will never vanish. Stay Cool

F Rusinga - 23 June 2015

Yet another illegitimate MP sweared in. MPS you are now welcoming strangers in the house.

IllegalMPin thehouse - 23 June 2015

KKKKKK Gore rino tichadzidza zvakawanda. What is happening in the secret chambers shall be brought to light coz igore redzidzo iri

Precious Mpofu - 23 June 2015

AHHH bazukulu stranger in the house!!!! stranger in the house!!!Who is hiding the stranger in the house.

UNCLE REAL - 23 June 2015

The whole electoral system remains in the firm control of certain elements within Government and firmly backed by external connections who will ensure that this culture remains forevermore. Forget any free and fair elections, it just won't be allowed to happen. We live in a North Korean style democracy now- enjoy the ride.

Moses Chibagwe - 23 June 2015

i think we use selective rule. Gideon Gono was denied senatorial seat because of failing to appear in Buhera constituency. elections muzimbabwe kutambisa nguva-

gono - 23 June 2015

Themba Mliswa please go to the ConCourt and reclaim your seat and embarrass Rita

met - 23 June 2015

zec has been cheating for a long time zvekuti they are now confusing themselves or they are so relaxed to forget that we are watching carefully. zanu is really taking us for granted. Imagine the entire peoples of Hurungwe being used and taken for a ride to make it appear as if maelections ari kuitwa nemazvo yet zec itori ne instruction kare; infact itori nescript and all that is happening on election day is well rehersed acting. We as MDC taizvitaura siku nesukati izvi asi taingonzi hee heee ; hezvo nhasi mozvinzwira kubva mukanwa mayo mbongoro moti WaTsvangirayi wakatengesa. Wana Tambaoga waiimbiswa sendumure dzekucreche iko zvino waripi; wamwe muchiungana kumagala zanu iri busy kuba maelections, kukauya wanaSTERP nana BaCoSSI,zvaiwe zvekudiverta attention. Iko zvino rimwe rinofumo zhambatata paradio hanzi digitalisation iZimAssert, whats that, apa jona kakatadza kubata deadline redigitalisation racho kamwa mari yacho. zec nezvimapato zvese maquasi-zanu wings furthering the zanu agenda to cling on power and making us suffer. Harare ne Byo zvakathreatenwa pachena;munhu ahwinha anotsamweyi? Pane kuti zec ingoti waGuzah makabira ibvai waMliswapindai zvinoremeyi panekutaura tuchirungu heee submitted nimination papers heee with a reg slip, ko kungoti boldly WAS NOT IN THE VOTERS ROLL,. Does Rita have to tell us mistakes made at his office by the illiterate niece of hers that she appointed on nepotism grounds who could not update the electronic voters roll coz she has computerphobia (sic). OK koo manual racho kakaupdater here kazukuru kake kakagumira grade six nekuda kakomana kaifudza mombe dzasabhuku nekuti kaipfeka mateki akanzi pro-sport pakisimusi kumasitoro!

Samanyika Chaiye - 23 June 2015

1980 Ndaiva grade 1 mutungamiriri wenyika achiti ndisu tichazova vatungamiriri vamangwana. Nhasi ndava ne 50 years ndiye achingoripo vakomana pakaipa apa. Ko imo muZANU PF hamudiwo kutongawo here kwete nenzira yekuridigurana asi nekuziva kuti mutemo wedu unotii. Constitution yeZANU PF inoti kudii pamusoro peleadership munhu one. Munhu mukuru ndiye anotanga kunonga nyama asi mudiki anozonongawo. Pnoda kugadziriswa apa.

Chedondo - 23 June 2015

That ugly robokisto woman by the name rita makarau is dragging the party into mud. She is old to continuously hold that sensitive position in the country. She stinks and must be relieved of her duties as a matter of urgency before she causes more damage to the party. I wonder where she did her law degree

dzidzo - 24 June 2015

Rita Makarau, why are you losing your dignity, wow, because of these earthly things, we know most ladies to be honest, but we are seriously embrassed on your behalf.

Ballista - 24 June 2015

ooooRitaaaa!!

SaManyika Chaiye - 24 June 2015

Its a well calculated move to legalise the illegitemate, she is paying back for the farms and never ending freabies. With an avalanche of educated people the country is on all four becoz of handouts dished to the same. No wonder why 90% business people are politicians, my foot.

El-Dodo - 24 June 2015

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