Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
elections ghost haunts human rights defenders
October 28, 2013
View this article
on the Radio VOP website
The ghost of
July 31 harmonised elections is still haunting human rights
defenders in Zimbabwe with a local elections monitoring body taking
legal action to have its matter referred to the Constitutional Court
challenging some provisions of the Electoral
Act which criminalises freedom of expression.
Resource Centre through its lawyer, Trust Maanda on Monday filed
an application before Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe seeking to
declare as unconstitutional Section 40 of the Electoral Act for
being in breach of Section 61, 62, 64 and 67 of the Constitution
The ERC represented
by the organisation’s director Tawanda Chimhini also wants
the Constitutional Court to declare Section 40 of the Electoral
Act as void for being overbroad, vague and imprecise.
The ERC wants
trial proceedings to be stayed pending the determination by the
Constitutional Court of the above-mentioned questions.
Tendai Mahwe will on Friday 1 November 2013 deliver his ruling on
the application in which the ERC charges that its fundamental rights
are being breached.
arrested together with Farai Saungweme, Wadzanai Previous Nyakudya
and Moses Chikora and charged with contravening Section 40 (c) (1)
(g) of the Electoral Act ahead of the July 31 harmonised elections
for allegedly conducting voter education without the approval of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
trial of Abel Chikomo, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum for allegedly running an “unregistered”
organisation suffered yet another false start on Monday after Magistrate
Mahwe postponed the case to November 13, 2013.
trial had been rescheduled to commence on Monday could not start
as Magistrate Mahwe indicated that he wanted to dispense with several
cases lined up in his court before presiding over the human rights
campaigner’s case. This if the fifth time that Chikomo’s
trial has had to be postponed.
charge that Chikomo contravened Section 6 (3) of the Private
Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act Chapter 17:15 after he allegedly
conducted some activities without being registered with the Social
Welfare Department under the PVO Act. The charge, which Chikomo
denies, came after the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, a non-governmental
umbrella organisation conducted a survey on transitional justice
in Harare’s Highfield suburb.
The State says
this was illegal since the organisation is not registered as a PVO.
The State claims that he unlawfully instructed two of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum’s employees to commence or carry
out a survey in Harare’s Highfield suburb with the intention
to obtain people's recommendations on the preferred transitional
justice mechanism for Zimbabwe, without his organization registering
with the Social Welfare Department under the PVO Act.
Last year, Chikomo’s
trial on the same charges, which first arose in February 2011, was
shelved after State prosecutor Innocent Chingarande withdrew summons
issued against him as the State was not ready to proceed with the
lawyers say the judicial persecution of Chikomo, who is represented
by Selby Hwacha of Dube Manikai and Hwacha Legal Practitioners is
yet another official harassment of civic organisations and human
rights defenders operating in Zimbabwe.
Visit the ZLHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.