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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Court refuses to further remand the ERC case
    Election Resource Centre
    June 11, 2013

    A Harare magistrate today refused to further remand a case in which the Election Resource Centre was being charged with conducting voter education without the approval of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The state had applied for deferment of the case to the 17th of June 2013 after the state witness Mr. Chidhakuza from ZEC failed to turn up for the court hearing. The magistrate argued that it would be unfair to the accused to be further remanded as the state had an obligation to put its house in order the minute it decided to lay charges against the organization.

    The state would proceed by way of summons if it wishes.

    The state holds that the Election Resource Centre, represented by the Director Tawanda Chimhini violated the Electoral Court (Section 40: Sub section 1g) by distributing voter awareness material in the form of the t-shirts and fliers during the first phase of the mobile voter registration campaign, without approval from the ZEC. Three ERC personel, Moses Chikora, Farai Saugweme and Wadzanai Nyakudya were arrested in May as they conducted X1G mobile caravans. The caravans were aimed at encouraging young people to register as voters.

    The defense lawyer, Mr. Tonderai Bhatasara of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had put before the court that the first accused (Tawanda Chimhini) is a juristic person – Election Resource Centre and requires the matter to be dealt with expeditiously so that it is able to effectively carry out its mandate and objectives relating to election observation and advisory. Mr. Bhatasara then submitted that the matter should proceed.

    The state then appealed for more time to subpoena the State witness, and applied to have the matter deferred to the 17th of June 2013, which the Magistrate refused and ordered the state to proceed by way of summons.

    The Election Resource Centre remains committed to servicing the electoral needs of Zimbabweans, including mobilizing youth to register as voters.

    Visit the Election Resource Centre fact sheet

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