Con-Court to hear legal challenge to Diaspora vote

HARARE - The Constitutional Court will today hear details of the legal challenge to government’s decision to bar expatriate Zimbabweans from voting from their foreign bases in the forthcoming key 2018 vote.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba will hear that a judicial review application lodged over whether government has the power to bar Zimbabweans not resident in the country from voting in the 2018 presidential, parliamentary and municipal polls.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) acting chair Emmanuel Magade, Zec, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Attorney-General Prince Machaya are cited as respondents.

The case has been brought on behalf of human rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba, who lives in exile in South Africa, Sibonile Mfumisi, also resident in South Africa, and Darlington Nyambiya, who is living and working in the United Kingdom, by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

The rights lawyers argue that the country’s Constitution, which came into force in 2013, guarantees the right to vote for all citizens.

According to a notice of set-down, the matter will be heard today.

“Take notice that the above application will be heard before (Luke) Malaba CJ (Chief Justice), in chambers on January 18, 2018 at 11:00hrs or so soon thereafter as counsel may be heard. The parties should have filed heads of argument by not later than 4:00pm on January 8, 2018,” reads the notice of set-down.

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