via MDC Renewal Team threatens to challenge by-election nominations – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 27, 2015
THE MDC Renewal Team has threatened to file an urgent court application to stop the nomination court from sitting on Friday to confirm nomination of parliamentary candidates for the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mount Darwin West by-elections scheduled for March 27 this year.
The opposition party said the by-elections must be deferred because the process had several electoral and legislative flaws.
The by-elections are to replace Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa who vacated his seat when he assumed the Vice-Presidency and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Party spokesman Jacob Mafume yesterday told NewsDay that the court action was informed by the fact that President Robert Mugabe had breached a number of constitutional obligations when he proclaimed the by-election dates.
“We are consulting our lawyers as to what are our legal options are as Mugabe continues to flagrantly abuse the Constitution. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is not in a position to conduct the polls as there are no adequate laws in place,” Mafume said.
The Renewal Team’s stance comes as another electoral challenge brought by Zapu is still pending before the courts.
According to the Constitution, Zec is the custodian of the voters’ roll, but the last amendment to the Electoral Act did not provide modalities for the electoral body to claim the roll from the Registrar-General’s Office.
In December, Zec rejected Zanu PF’s nomination of former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono as a Senator for Manicaland saying he had unprocedurally transferred his name from Harare to Manicaland province.
Meanwhile, Zec on Saturday advertised that it would start voter registration in the two constituencies.
“It is hereby notified for general information that the Zec shall conduct voter registration and inspection of the voters’ rolls in respect of the by-elections for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mount Darwin West constituencies and ward 15 of Chinhoyi Municipality to be held 27th March, 2015,” Zec said.
“The exercise is primarily meant to register those who turned 18 after the 10th of July 2013 and those who have never registered for any election.”
The development means all those who now reside in different constituencies from the one they stayed in as of July 2013 cannot participate in the by-elections.