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MDC-T's Court Suit to Nullify Special Vote Set For Wednesday

Zimbabwe Republic Police
Judge President Justice George Chiweshe will on Wednesday hear an application by the Tsvangirai MDC formation seeking to nullify the special vote in which members of the uniformed forces were casting their ballots ahead of the July 31 harmonized election.

The balloting, which started Sunday, was chaotic in most parts of the country with most polling stations lacking essentials such as ballot papers, boxes and ink.

Advocate Lewis Uriri, one of the lawyers representing the MDC-T, told journalists after meeting Justice Chiweshe and officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that the matter will be heard Wednesday, adding “sensitive” consultations were currently taking place between the concerned parties.

MDC-T deputy national chairman Morgan Komichi wants the special vote nullified. He argues the number of police officers registered to cast ballots in the two-day exercise, 69,322, is far too high than the estimated 44,000 regular police officers in the country.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which has been observing the special voting, says the process was marred by serious logistical challenges countrywide.

ZESN chairperson Solomon Zwana told journalists Monday, the challenges included late opening of polling stations, shortage of sensitive voting material such as indelible ink, ZEC stamps, approved voters’ lists, ballot papers and ballot boxes.

Zwana is concerned thousands of uniformed forces may fail to vote due to the chaos characterizing the exercise.

He adds ZEC should urgently address challenges brought to the fore by the special voting to ensure the july 31 ballot runs smoothly.

ZESN says the government should adequately resource ZEC to ensure it effectively carries out its constitutional mandate.

Prior to special voting, the election monitoring group says it noted several incidents of intimidation and arrests of human rights campaigners on allegations of breaching the Electoral Act. But Zwana says there have been no reports of intimidation against the uninformed forces.