LEGAL think tank, Veritas, claims that several potential new voters in Mt Darwin West would not be able to vote in the March 29 by-election as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has not yet assumed its new role of administering the voters’ roll.
In its Bill Watch report (2/2015) released at the weekend, Veritas said Zec was still incapacitated to fulfill its new mandate due to a number of challenges.
“In spite of the new provisions in the Constitution, Zec has not yet assumed its new constitutional responsibilities for keeping and maintaining the voters’ roll and registering voters,” Veritas said.
Veritas said Zec’s difficulties were associated with the misalignment of the Electoral Act to the new governance charter and inadequate resources which have made it impossible for them to take over the said duties from the Registrar-General’s Office.
In September 2014, Zec rejected Zanu PF Manicaland senator-designate Gideon Gono’s nomination on the basis that his registration as a voter in Manicaland had been illegally effected by the Registrar-General in December 2013.
The Mt Darwin West fell vacant following former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s elevation to the presidium before she was recently booted out of office on allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
According to legal expert Alex Magaisa, although the Electoral Act was the only one amended since the new Constitution came into force, it left out “crucial provisions on voter registration and the voters’ roll”.
“This omission is not only incredible, but a clear demonstration of serious neglect of duty on the part of the responsible ministry, Parliament and Zec,” Magaisa said.