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Jonathan Moyo Raises Alarm Over Election Disputes

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Former Cabinet Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo has raised alarm bells over election disputes which have delayed the printing of ballot papers for the upcoming harmonized general elections slated for August 23.

In a long Twitter thread, Moyo highlighted the potential danger of justice being denied to the candidates and the electorate.

“With 36 Days since Nomination Court Day, over 135 Nomination Cases still in Court and only 26 Days to Election Day, it would be a scandalous travesty of justice to nullify gazetted nomination of any Candidate. A long 36 days have gone since the Nomination Court sat on 21 June 2023 to approve local authority, parliamentary and presidential candidates for the harmonised general election due in only 26 short days on 23 August 2023, and yet there are over 135 candidate nomination disputes still pending some in the Electoral Court, others in the High Court an at least one in the Supreme Court.

“If this is not a state of emergency type of crisis, then nothing is. The situation is extraordinary, unprecedented in Zimbabwe’s electoral history, and arguably with no parallel even in SADC or across the Continent. Meanwhile, the ballot papers for the election have not been printed. In terms of section 52A of the Electoral Act – the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) – @ZECzim is required to inform without delay all political parties and candidates contesting an election, and all observers where and by whom the ballot papers for the election have been or are being printed for the election, and their total number.

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“ZEC says the printing of the ballot papers has been delayed by the over 135 challenges to the outcome of the Nomination Court 36 days ago on 21 June 2023, whose appeals are still pending in various courts. But with only 26 days to go before the election on 23 August 2023, the delay in the printing of the ballot papers has now fallen foul of the timelines for postal voting,” said Prof. Moyo

Professor Moyo argues that ZEC’s decision to gazette the list of nominated candidates before resolving court challenges to the nominations was premature and shortsighted.

“At this juncture, any nullification of the nomination of any candidate whose nomination was gazetted on 30 June 2023 – on technical grounds – would fall foul of Zimbabwe’s founding values and principles outlined in section 3(2) of the Constitution, and would be tantamount to contempt for the people’s right to vote as a hard won gain of the heroic nationalist liberation struggle enshrined in section 67 of the Constitution, and would smack of a corruption and travesty of justice in that justice denied is necessarily justice denied; and hence it would be an indictment of ZEC’s failure to conduct elections transparently and efficiently, as required under section 239 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe!” he said

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This year, the country has witnessed an increase in legal challenges relating to the forthcoming elections with most of the cases still pending.

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