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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Judge defers ruling on Tsvangirai’s election records request
Nomalanga Moyo, SW Radio Africa
August 15, 2013
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on the SW Radio Africa website
been reserved indefinitely in the matter in which MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai wanted access to material used in the July
31st disputed poll.
The matter, which was
filed last Thursday, was heard in chambers Wednesday afternoon by
High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu.
In the application
Tsvangirai’s lawyers wanted the court to order the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to let him inspect poll records for vote rigging
Tsvangirai lost the presidential
vote to Zanu-PF’s Robert Mugabe, in a process widely criticised
for its irregularities by independent observers and civic groups.
The MDC-T leader had
wanted to inspect the voters’ roll, ballots, voter registration
slips, as well as the presidential election results for each constituency.
Last week Friday,
Tsvangirai filed another
case at the Constitutional Court challenging the outcome of
the electoral process which he wants nullified.
He argues that the July
31st process was fraught with irregularities, and is convinced that
the election records, which ZEC is refusing to release, contain
the evidence he needs to prove to the Con Court that Mugabe rigged
his way to victory.
Access to this material
would enable him to “demonstrate beyond doubt that the election
was improperly conducted, and that the will of the people was not
reflected in this election,” his lawyers said Wednesday.
Speaking to SW Radio
Africa, Tsvangirai’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri said: “In
our Con Court petition we make allegations, that the election did
not reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe, and that the election
material was tampered with.
“So we went to
[the High] Court to ask for that election material which we intend
to use in the Con Court petition,” Uriri said.
Bhunu’s decision to reserve judgement, Uriri said his team
can only hope that a ruling will be made soon - as the poll records
have relevance to Tsvangirai’s Con Court petition.
It remains to
be seen whether Bhunu would have reached a decision regarding the
poll records by weekend. Bhunu postponed hearing the petitions twice
Wednesday, with reports that he was unhappy with suggestions, allegedly
from the MDC-T, that he is biased towards Zanu-PF - and therefore
wanted to be excused.
protestations and attempts at recusing himself sit suspiciously
well with Mugabe’s efforts to have Tsvangirai’s petitions
dismissed. Mugabe’s lawyers argue that the High Court has
no jurisdiction to hear such electoral petitions.
Bhunu is also
the same judge presiding over the matter in which 29 MDC-T activists
are charged with the murder
of a Glen View police inspector. The case has dragged on for
Lawyers for the accused
said Bhunu had indicated that he would have reached a decision on
the activists’ application for discharge by July 3rd. But
until now there has been no word or ruling from the judge. One of
the accused, Rebecca Mafukeni who was held in solitary confinement,
died on Monday, while awaiting justice.
The Con Court will hear
Tsvangirai’s petition challenging Mugabe’s win on Saturday,
with Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku presiding.
In another related petition
for election material filed by the outgoing MDC-T legislator for
Mt Pleasant, Jameson Timba, judgement was also reserved indefinitely
by High Court Judge Joseph Mafusirelate Thursday afternoon.
Timba had wanted to review
voting records for the Mt Pleasant Constituency which was marred
by serious anomalies. Timba told this station that he plans to lodge
another challenge at the ConCourt on August 19th.
Like Tsvangirai, Timba
also wants the result of the poll, described by the MDC-T as “the
biggest fraud this country has ever seen” to be declared null
Mugabe was declared the
winner of the July 31st presidential vote with 61% against Tsvangirai’s
34%. His Zanu-PF party also grabbed a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
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