The visually-impaired’s voting challenge to be heard Monday

The visually-impaired’s voting challenge to be heard Monday

Source: The visually-impaired’s voting challenge to be heard Monday | The Herald May 18, 2018

The visually-impaired’s voting challenge to be heard Monday

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court will on Monday determine whether or not the visually-impaired should be provided with special ballot papers printed in braille to afford them the right to a secret vote.

Mr Abraham Mateta, a registered voter who is visually-impaired, wants Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to put in place administrative measures to enable people in his condition to vote by secret ballot in the coming 2018 harmonised election.

He also suggested the use of the template ballot to ensure people who are visually impaired enjoy their constitutional right.

Alternatively, Mr Mateta proposed that ZEC must provide tactile voting devices to all the visually impaired people who wish to vote by secret ballot.

Mr Mateta argues that those who wish to be assisted in voting should select their own assistants and cast the vote without the involvement of a presiding officer or any other third party. The Registrar of the High Court yesterday served the parties concerned with a notice of set down, informing them that the case will be heard on Monday afternoon.

Justice Charles Hungwe will hear the matter in his chambers.

Harare lawyer Dr Innocent Maja of Maja & Associates filed the urgent chamber application on behalf of Mr Mateta.

In the application, ZEC, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Attorney-General of Zimbabwe were listed as respondents.

Mr Mateta stated in his founding affidavit that his rights were likely to be violated if the administrative measures were not put in place.

He also wants the minister and the AG to amend the electoral law to give effect to the right of the visually impaired to vote in secret.

The legislative amendments, according Mr Mateta, must be effected by December 31, 2018.

Mr Mateta said the visually impaired must not be discriminated against during elections.