By Alex Bell
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was on Tuesday night handed a last minute court order to furnish the MDC-T with the voters roll, amid ongoing concern that the roll has been rigged.
The order was passed down less than 24 hours before polling stations opened on Wednesday for the national election. The order, by High Court Judge Justice Joseph Mafusire, came after lawyers representing the MDC-T party filed an urgent chamber application on Tuesday, challenging the decision by ZEC and Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede not to handover electronic copies of the voters roll.
ZEC, through its lawyers, had opposed the request by the MDC-T to provide free electronic copies of the voters roll ahead of the elections, with the party and other candidates and observers wanting to conduct proper audits to check if the roll was accurate.
ZEC argued that it could only provide hard copies of the roll at a cost, while the electronic version was unavailable because of technical problems.
But Justice Mafusire ordered ZEC to provide hard copies of the constituency voters rolls free of charge to MDC-T election candidates by midday on Wednesday’s voting day. ZEC was further ordered to provide some electronic copies of the voters roll once its IT system is back online.
Some Zim lawyers and others on Wednesday evening said they were now perusing the voters roll, with voters raising concern throughout election day that there were serious irregularities. This included a number of names of deceased people being present on the roll, while other ‘registered’ voters were turned away on the basis that their names did not appear.
At the same time, it is understood that scores of police officers and other security force members who failed to vote during the Special Vote, were still unable to vote on Wednesday because their names had been removed from the voters roll. This is despite a Constitutional Court order allowing them a second chance to vote. SW Radio Africa