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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Court dismisses Diaspora vote challenge
Alex Bell, SW Radio Africa
June 28, 2013
The Constitutional Court
on Friday dismissed a legal challenge that was trying to secure
the voting rights of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, in a decision
that is set to have a serious impact on millions of citizens around
The challenge had been
filed last year by a South African based Zimbabwean, Tawengwa Bukaibenyu,
who argued that the barring of postal ballots for exiled Zimbabweans
violated his right to choose his country’s government.
Bukaibenyu was arguing
that the lack of a Diaspora vote was inherently unfair, because
he does intend on returning to Zimbabwe one day when the situation
He wanted the country’s
electoral laws that prohibit the Diaspora vote to be declared unconstitutional,
saying: “I therefore have a vested interest to do my part
to ensure that the situation in Zimbabwe normalises as soon as possible,
and this includes participation in elections and civic duties in
But on Friday the Constitutional
Court bench unanimously dismissed his application. The Court did
not give reasons for the decision, saying this would be communicated
in due course.
The decision is a serious
blow to millions in the Diaspora, who are all being denied their
right to cast their votes.
But the decision could
also have serious legal ramifications for Zimbabwe, which stands
on the verge of being declared in contempt of the African Commission
on Human and People’s Rights.
in February ordered the Zim government to make provisions for exiled
Zimbabweans to cast their votes using the postal voting system.
This was ahead of the March
referendum, but the government has still not responded to this
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