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ConCourt frees voter educators

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THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) yesterday permanently stayed the prosecution of four Election Resource Centre (ERC) officials who had been accused of conducting voter education without approval from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), saying there was no reasonable suspicion that the ERC employees committed any offence.

CHARLES LAITON

The ConCourt, headed by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, granted the application in concurrence with eight other ConCourt judges. ERC director Tawanda Chimhini was arrested prior to the July 31 2013 harmonised elections and was charged alongside Farai Saungweme, Wadzanai Previous Nyakudya and Moses Chikora.
Their offence, according to the State, was that they had given a flier to one Chikomba and by so doing, the State argued, they had contravened Section 40 C (1) (g) of the Electoral Act. The State also conceded that the quartet’s alleged crime did not fall under the purview of what was prohibited under the Electoral Act.
The application was lodged after ERC and three of its staff members were charged by the State for allegedly conducting voter education through distribution of voter materials without the prior approval from Zec.
ERC was represented by Trust Maanda.

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