Electoral Act not aligned with Constitution: Veritas

LEGAL think tank Veritas, says the Electoral Act, which was recently signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not been aligned with the Constitution, arguing several classes of citizens will be disenfranchised.

by VENERANDA LANGA

In an analysis of the amendments to the law which will guide elections, Veritas said citizens, who will be disenfranchised included people living in the Diaspora, hospital patients and prisoners.

“Citizens living outside Zimbabwe cannot be registered as voters and so will not be able to vote, and this is because section 23 of the Electoral Act insists that persons must be resident in a constituency, before they can be registered on a voters roll in that constituency,” Veritas said.

“Voters, who cannot go to a polling station to vote on election day will not be able to cast their votes unless they are permitted to vote by post — and the only people who will be allowed a postal vote are election officials, members of the security services on electoral duty, and Zimbabwean diplomats overseas.”

Provisions in sections 22A(3), sections 56(1) and 72 of the Electoral Act have the effect of disenfranchising voters like doctors and nurses, hospital patients, fire and ambulance officers, long distance drivers, and even prisoners may not be able to cast their votes.

“Although the Lancaster House constitution denied the vote to prisoners serving sentences of more than six months, the present Constitution contains no such exclusion, so prisoners have the same right as all other citizens to vote in elections. The Electoral Act makes no provision for them to exercise their rights, and since no arrangements were made for them to be registered on the new roll, most prisoners will be excluded by that fact alone,” Veritas said.

On the independence and transparency of Zec, they said their independence will continue to be limited because of provisions in the Act like section 9(5) which do not give Zec the power to dismiss its chief elections officer without the approval of the Justice minister.

Several other sections in the Act give the Justice minister too many powers, including that Zec cannot accredit observers alone, but that it is largely put in the hands of an observer accreditation committee where government has excessive representation.

Loading...

4 Comments

  1. Thula, thula, Not as logically and legally plaussible as you put it. Those are the gaps which will be used to influence results. For example, prisoners will vote in the presence of prison wardens. In short, they will all vote for one party. If prisons have not become stand-alone polling stations, never consider it an oversight. Ndiyo tamba wakachenjera. Icho…..icho…..icho

  2. Remember prisonguards, ZRP, ZNA and in a large measure their spouses do not vote outside their camps. Have you asked/sought to know why the ZPCS and ZRP ‘directors’ are called Commissioners’. Food for thought. Icho….. Icho…..icho

  3. Mukupe) (MP) does not say what he does not know/understand. These things are discussed in polibro meetings. You need to understand the power of this organ. Just to refresh your memory; this is the organ which delt Mugabe a blow by pushing for his impeechment. So, Mukupe said ‘ masoja haangatore chigaro’ only to let it go to the MDC-T. There is therefor admitance that the new dispensation is a military one. Hope the civilised world will not be sold a dummy by ZANU-PF. ICHO…….icho…..icho

  4. Renowned politician Joseph Stalin said that the people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. Short and precise!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.