Lawyer files High Court application to force voters’ roll release

via Lawyer files High Court application to force release of voters’ roll | The Zimbabwean 19.05.14 by Tawanda Majoni

A private citizen and constitutional lawyer, Justice Alfred Mavedzenge, on Monday filed a High Court application seeking to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to make the voters’ roll public.

The roll has been kept under wraps, with ZEC claiming that it could not retrieve it from its system as its machines have broken down.

Zimbabwe went to elections last year without the roll, which political parties and the electorate say is full of anomalies and must be overhauled to ensure free and fair polls.

Mavedzenge cited the Chairperson of ZEC as the first respondent, while the Registrar General of Voters and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs are the second and third respondents, respectively.

ZEC has 10 days within which to file an opposing affidavit, if they are averse to Mavedzenge’s application, failure of which a default judgement would be granted.

The High Court application follows the lawyer’s letter to ZEC on February 6 2014 in which he requested the commission to upload the voters’ roll to a platform he could access but, three months down the line, that had not been done.

ZEC was supposed to respond within 30 days, in accordance with section 8(1) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Chapter 10:27).

The applicant wants ZEC to “upload the national voters’ roll onto a platform” where he and other members of the public can access it.

“This is an application for an order to compel the 1st Respondent to provide the Applicant with an electronic copy of the national voters’ roll and to upload and update the voters’ roll onto an accessible online platform,” Mavedzenge wrote in his High Court application.

Sections 62(1) of the new constitution adopted last year after a referendum and 5(1) of AIPPA give Zimbabwean citizens the right of access to information held by national bodies where such information is in the interests of public accountability.

Mavedzenge told The Zimbabwean after filing his application: “We are an electoral democracy and integrity of electoral processes must be improved through accountability, which ZEC has demonstrated to lack.”

He added: “Public information is kept by the State as a good steward but it ultimately belongs to the people. The voters’ roll is, by law, a public document and not publicizing it creates unnecessary mystery around it.”

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12 comments on “Lawyer files High Court application to force voters’ roll release
  1. andy says:

    Good luck to him as he will need it. I don’t hold out any hope as no matter how strong and legally correct his argument may be, it will fail as the courts have been corrupted by zanu and will never allow such a motion to succeed.

  2. matombo chiremba says:

    Mudede’s and maybe now Makarau’s servers are still down!!!!! They could still be down even come 2018. Does SADC, AU and United Nations really care for the lack of democracy in once beautiful and vibrant Zimbabwe???? Mudede will pay millions as usual to Nikuv for their ‘consultancy work’ but cannot have a thousand dollars to repair a server???? DOES ANYBODY CARE FOR THE OPRESSION OF ZIMBABWEANS FOR SO LONG????

  3. Owen says:

    Sadly our judiciary has been suborned to protect Zanu PF and not to defend justice. Not a single MDC electoral challenge has been approved by the judiciary.

    • publicprotector says:

      It is not justice to give master electronic records to any member of the public so they can tamper with same – hard copy has already been issued but you cant readily alter that.
      Those demanding same should be jailed for fraud.
      All those a bit dim should explain why they need an electronic copy when they already have a print- out?

      • Jrr56 says:

        The electronic voters role legally should be in the public domain. Any one interfering with the legal and just distribution should be jailed. Any fool can tell when facts are being hidden!!!

  4. Aaaaah voter’s roll ungaripihwe neZanu pf iwe havadi naro.Kkkkkkk nyika yedu iyi inotosekesa kana nembavha irikuba zvayo.

  5. Aaaaah voter’s roll hauripihwe neZanu pf havatodi naro, there is no democracy in that country, kana zvanetsa kutobvamo kurinani because inyika ine hudzvanyiriri, kana uri we mdc hausi munhu unotonzi urimbwa you don’t benefit as a citizen but you get killed because you are an enemy.

  6. Roving Ambassador says:

    Thank you for putting this case forward . We should flood these courts with more cases.Even if we do not win,the pressure and publicity/awareness is important.

  7. Wilbert Mukori says:

    Justice Alfred Mavedzenge has filed a High Court application demanding the release of the voters roll. Here is a man after my own heart! Here is someone who really believes in democratic accountability, human rights, etc. and not just to talk endlessly about these things fleecing donor mon-ey holding meaningless human rights and democracy workshops.

    We all know the 31st July 2013 elections were rigged; not just rigged, Mugabe blatantly rigged the elections.

    We also know that the voters roll is the smoking gun of the rigged elec-tions.

    Mugabe has stubbornly refused to release the voters roll although the law demanded that the voters roll should be made public at least a month before the elections. He is still refusing to release the roll even now, ten months later on the feeble grounds that the computer holding the data was broken.

    Free, fair and credible elections is the foundation of an democratic, free and just society and so rigging elections threatens the very soul of the nation. Anyone who rigs elections therefore is committing high treason against the people and the nation. Alfred Mavedzenge is just making sure Mugabe does not get away with high treason; a task every thinking Zimbabwean should have done a long, long time ago but failed to.

  8. kutongwa nonjazi says:

    The end result of all this is known…A Failed State. Shame!

  9. munzwa says:

    Good move, its interesting to note that a lot of court orders are being sort to try and force zanu to obey the law. We need to watch how the rulings turn out as these judges will be judged themselves in the final analyses….their futures are also at stake!!!!

  10. jobolinko says:

    If Jealous Mawarire s case was his right as a citizen i am sure Alfred Mavedzenge s case is a matter of urgency the document is a right for the people of zimbabwe.

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