A HUMAN rights defender Nixon Nyikadzino on Monday filed an application with the Constitutional Court seeking to compel President Robert Mugabe to proclaim an election date after complying with the constitutional requirements.
Report by Feluna Nleya
Last month, the Constitutional Court ordered Mugabe to ensure polls were held by July 31 following an application by Jealousy Mawarire, an order Mugabe agreed to comply with.
Nyikadzino also cited Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively. There are 13 respondents cited.
Nyikadzino said in complying with the order in the Mawarire case, the respondents had a constitutional obligation not to infringe the law and constitutional rights of voters.
“My fear is that given the short time that is left, the respondents cannot fulfill their obligations without infringing on my rights. In particular, the respondents have to fulfill their obligation of aligning electoral laws to the Constitution, and the 5th Respondent (Zec) has to carry out a voter registration and inspection exercise,” Nyikadzino said in his founding affidavit.
“1st Respondent (President Mugabe) therefore has a clear obligation to me as a citizen to ensure that my fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are upheld as well as ensuring the protection of my rights and those of other citizens as provided in the Constitution.
“As already stated, the basis of my application arises from the restrictive time frames within which the impending elections must now be held in terms of this Honourable Court’s decision and that these time frames significantly threaten or compromise my right to vote as a citizen and to participate in free and fair elections.”
Nyikadzino said there had not been progress in key and mandatory processes necessary for the holding of free and fair elections.
He said as a voter he has a reasonable apprehension that election-related violence may occur as happened in past elections.
He added that Zec has not set up appropriate systems and mechanisms to eliminate electoral violence and other electoral malpractices.
“I believe that it is now legally and constitutionally impossible for respondents to cause the conduct of a legitimate election on or by July 31, 2013 without violating my rights,” said Nyikadzino.