Zimbabwe: MDC-T's Tsvangirai launches court bid

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. (Gallo)

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. (Gallo)

He also wants access to all materials used in last Wednesday’s general elections.

Tsvangirai is expected to make an application in the Constitutional Court on Friday to challenge the results of the presidential elections. An application challenging results of House of Assembly is also expected.

The chief elections officer of the ZEC Lovemore Sekeramayi, ZEC registrar general of voters Tobaiwa Mudede and President Robert Mugabe were cited as the first, second, third respondent. 

Tsvangirai believes access to the material and information he requested is critical to his challenge of the presidential election results. Through his lawyers Denford Halimani of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni, Tsvangirai wants ZEC to make available the full presidential results per constituency.
He also wants copies of the voters' roll used in all polling stations and copies of the voters' roll used in the special voting process held on July 14 and 15.

In his founding affidavit, Tsvangirai requested the Electoral Court to compel ZEC to provide a "register of assisted voters at all polling stations in the election; copies of voters' roll used in postal voting delimited by ward and constituency; copies of the electronic voters roll as at July 31 2013; register of voters whose names did not appear in the voters' roll but were allowed to vote using voter registration slips; the register of authorised postal and special voters and contents of the closed and sealed ballot boxes and sealed packets delivered to the first respondent". 

MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti earlier this week wrote to ZEC requesting the material used in the poll. 

Tsvangirai said failure by Mudede to provide electronic copies of the voters’ roll fuelled suspicion that the roll was doctored. The high number of people turned away from polling stations (for not appearing on the voters’ roll) compounded the situation, he said. 

He said ballot papers used during the special vote may also have been tempered with.“The ballot papers may have been tempered with in terms of design and printing.

"The ink used in the election could easily be washed off, which created the real risk and possibility that those who voted on July 14 and 15 may have been allowed to vote again on July 31," said Tsvangirai.

"I believe this election material is critical to support my election petition. I intend to place before the Constitutional Court full facts forming the basis of my election petition," said Tsvangirai.

Mugabe was declared winner of the presidential election after securing 61% of the vote, while Tsvangirai, who was expected to mount a strong challenge, only managed to secure 33% of the vote.

Tsvangirai has since called the election a farce and declared the election “null and void”, hence the court application.

MDC-T is also preparing a dossier he intends to give to South African President Jacob Zuma, who has requested evidence that the poll was rigged. Zuma is the Southern African Development Community appointed mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

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