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Special Vote Court Challenge Faces Serious Legal Hurdles

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s application to the Constitutional Court seeking a reprieve for special voters faces serious legal challenges, lawyers have warned.

ZEC filed papers seeking an order to allow the 26,160 security forces and civil servants, who failed to participate in the July 14 and 15 early voting, to cast their ballot on July 31.

Over 69,000 voters had applied to participate in the special vote. But the Electoral Act clearly stipulates that once one misses the opportunity to vote, they cannot be allowed to cast their ballot at any other time.

ZEC lawyers are arguing it is a constitutional right for Zimbabweans to vote.

Lawyer Chris Mhike, who usually represents Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, says ZEC’s case is difficult to argue.

Lawyer Terrence Hussein, who sometimes represents President Robert Mugabe, concurs with Mhike and admits that ZEC is in a fix.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyusiku has ruled that the ZEC application is urgent and should be heard Friday at the Constitutional Court.