Election integrity at stake: CCC’s urgent court bid challenges ZEC’s actions
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) finds itself at the center of a legal storm as the CCC, an opposition movement, intensifies its efforts ahead of the impending harmonized elections on August 23.
Claiming a breach of the Electoral Act, the CCC has launched an urgent court application against ZEC, seeking transparency in the election process. The CCC’s contention is that ZEC proceeded to print ballot papers without involving contesting parties, which they argue is a violation of the legal framework.
Intriguingly, the CCC is also demanding the disclosure of detailed information about the printed ballot papers – from their serial numbers to their distribution. This demand aims to establish that the number of printed ballots adheres to the 10% margin over the eligible voter count, a requirement set by the Electoral Act.
Yet, this is not the only skirmish in the legal battlefield. The CCC has also pressed for access to the final voters’ roll, a document that has remained elusive despite repeated pleas. The Harare High Court has set a tense deadline for the CCC and the ZEC to resolve this matter. Failure to find common ground will result in a courtroom showdown.
Inside the courtroom, Justice Never Katiyo, overseeing the proceedings, voiced his disapproval of the public’s criticism following his prior ruling that rejected the CCC’s earlier application. Expressing concern about maintaining professionalism and preventing violence, he revealed his personal security had been jeopardized due to the fervor surrounding the case.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court’s refusal to entertain an urgent appeal by former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has added another layer of intrigue. Kasukuwere’s presidential aspirations were thwarted by a High Court decision that upheld his corruption conviction. The Constitutional Court justified its decision based on the proximity of the election, a rationale that has met with resistance and accusations of bias.
In the aftermath of this decision, Kasukuwere’s spokesperson, Jaqueline Sande, denounced the Chief Justice for allegedly sidelining due process and impartiality. She questioned the Chief Justice’s assertion that the electoral processes are above board, particularly in light of ongoing court challenges.
This legal tug-of-war between the ZEC and opposition entities casts a shadow of doubt over the forthcoming election’s fairness and legitimacy. With President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his prominent rival Nelson Chamisa poised for a tight contest, the stakes are high. As Zimbabwe prepares for its second election since the exit of long-standing leader Robert Mugabe in 2017, these legal battles underscore the complex landscape of the nation’s democratic transition.