Tsvangirai demands poll material


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OUTGOING Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has approached the High Court seeking an urgent order to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to release election material used during the July 31 poll to enable him to lodge his election petition with the Constitutional Court.

Report by Feluna Nleya

Tsvangirai had to approach the High Court yesterday following the failure by Zec to avail the material requested by the MDC-T through its secretary-general Tendai Biti on Monday.

Tsvangirai, through his lawyer Denford Halimani of Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni, wants Zec to make available, among other things, the full presidential results per constituency, copies of the voters’ roll used in all the polling stations and copies of the voters’ roll used in the special voting process on July 14 and 15.

Chief Elections Officer for Zec Lovemore Sekeramayi, Registrar-General of voters Tobaiwa Mudede and President Robert Mugabe were cited as the first, second, third and fourth respondents.

The MDC-T leader also wants Zec to provide a register of those who managed to cast their votes during the special voting days, a register of those authorised to vote, but were not able to cast their ballots and reasons for such failure.

He has also demanded 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 31 July 2013, register of voters whose names did not appear in the voters’ roll, but were allowed to vote using voter registration slips, register of authorised postal and special voters and contents of the closed and sealed ballot boxes and sealed packets delivered to 1st respondent”.

Tsvangirai argues that the failure by Mudede to provide electronic copies of the voters’ roll created real apprehension that it was tampered with, adding that this has been compounded by the high incidences of voters turned away.

He said the general failure to ensure safe and proper custody of the election material relating to the special vote also created a window for manipulation of the vote.

“The ballot papers may have been tampered with in terms of design and printing. The ink used in the election could easily be washed off and hence creating the real risk and possibility that those who voted on 14 and 15 July 2013 may have been allowed to vote again on July 31. 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.

He has up to tomorrow to challenge the outcome of the polls with the courts.

Tsvangirai has since described the July 31 polls as a “sham and farce”.

The application is likely to be heard today.

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