Zec sued for gerrymandering

HARARE - Mount Pleasant Heights residents have dragged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and its chairperson, Justice Priscillah Chigumba, to the High Court, accusing the electoral body of clandestinely transferring them to Mazowe South Constituency.

According to the urgent chamber application, former Mt Pleasant Heights councillor Warship Dumba and Celine Eunice Nyakutsikwa are seeking a reversal of the decision by Zec.

Dumba and Nyakutsikwa said in the previous elections, with specific reference to 2008 and 2013, they had cast their votes under the Mt Pleasant constituency. They said they were surprised to be told by Zec officials that they were now falling under the Mazowe South constituency.

He said in February last year he observed Zec officials registering voters in Mt Pleasant Heights and upon enquiring with the then chairperson Rita Makarau was informed that they were registering voters for Mazowe South constituency.

“Sometime in September 2017 during the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise, the respondents initially registered applicants and issued them with voter registration slips for the Mt Pleasant constituency.

“In the same week and still within the same month, the respondent’s employees reversed that and re-registered them under the Mazowe South constituency citing directives from their superiors,” the court was told.

According to Dumba, Chigumba and Zec did not gazette the delimitation of the new constituency to indicate the shift of boundaries and by so doing had violated Section 37A of the Electoral Act.

According to Dumba, all attempts to engage Chigumba and Zec over the matter have proved fruitless as they have consistently maintained that the electoral and constituency boundaries have not been changed.

“I therefore seek relief from this honourable court to reverse the decision by respondents to shift the Mt Pleasant suburb to Mazowe South Constituency and register myself and my neighbours to vote in Ward 17 Mt pleasant Constituency in the upcoming 2018 general elections,” he said.

The electoral body and the chairperson have not yet responded to the application.

Comments (2)

Gerrymandering is a deliberate attempt by the powers that be to either dilute a constituency or outright manipulation of ballots. ZEC is a Zanu lapdog. What do you expect? They know urbanites will vote opposition

Moe Syslack - 1 June 2018

So, if the people in Mt. Pleasant Heights are urbanites and are likely to vote opposition, transferring them to Mazoe, a rural constituency, has the effect of diluting the rural constituency that is likely to vote ZANU PF rather than the urban constituency! Is that not so?

Godfrey - 5 June 2018

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.