HIGH Court judge, Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa yesterday ruled in favour of the so-called aliens and ordered the Registrar-General’s Office to allow them to register to vote during the ongoing biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise provided they produce their identification documents and proof of residence.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The judge said aliens should go and be registered as prospective voters by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) provided that they bring along with them their identity documents endorsed alien coupled with a birth certificate and proof of residence.
The granting of the court order came after human rights lawyer Denford Halimani, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, petitioned the High Court on behalf of Harare resident, Sarah Kachingwe alongside two political parties, MDC-T and MDC, seeking an order to compel Zec to register the so-called aliens as prospective voters for the 2018 general elections.
The Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshmen Ncube-led political parties joined forces and challenged Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede’s order that aliens must renounce their dual citizenship as a prerequisite to be issued with new identification cards to enable them to register as voters.
The two political parties, together with Kachingwe, filed an urgent chamber application citing Zec, Mudede, then Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu and Zanu PF political party as respondents.
In the application, the political parties together with Zec “unanimously agreed that a citizen, who is able to produce an identification card showing district of origin and a birth certificate confirming that such citizen was born in Zimbabwe or in the Southern Africa Development Community region and proof of residence should, by operation of law, be freely allowed to register to vote as they would have sufficiently established their qualification to vote by virtue of proving that they were Zimbabwean by birth.
The political parties further said “such people need not prove or do anything else in order to qualify to register as prospective voters”, adding, “If such people bring their identification cards, irrespective of whether they are endorsed ‘alien’ and birth certificate and proof of residence, they are entitled to be registered by the first respondent (Zec) as a prospective voter.”