Electoral Act in the spotlight

HARARE - Opposition Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) has lodged an application seeking direct access to the Constitutional Court where it intends to challenge some defective provisions of the Electoral Act and press for their alignment with the new Constitution before the country holds national elections in a few months’ time.

In the application, the Elton Mangoma-led party which is represented by Chris Mhike, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, cited Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), its chairperson Priscillah Chigumba and the Attorney General of Zimbabwe Prince Machaya,  as respondents.

“This is an application for direct access to the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, to enable applicant (RDZ) to present a substantive application for an order to:

nullify specific provisions of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) on account of their incongruence with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, and compel the first respondent (Ziyambi) to ensure adequate amendment of the current electoral law by the legislature ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, so as to align pertinent provisions of that law with the Constitution in terms of Section 117 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“It is applicant’s contention that various provisions of the Electoral Act as it currently stands are out of sync with several constitutional provisions relating to elections,” Mangoma said in his affidavit.

He said the issue of national elections is of interest to the party and the entire nation.

“The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe is the highest court of law on the land, whose decisions on constitutional matters are binding on all other courts, on individuals and on institutions. It would therefore be fair, judicious and in the interest of justice for the applicant to be granted direct access to the court in this instance,” added the RDZ president.

Mangoma said the Electoral Act in its current form violates the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.


 

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