from DANAI MWARUMBA in Harare
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE High Court has ordered the beleaguered Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure civil servants, particularly teachers, serving as electoral and polling officers to vote in next Monday’s general election.
High Court Justice Isaac Muzenda granted the order in favour of the
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), which a fortnight ago filed an urgent chamber application to compel ZEC to ensure teachers are not denied the right to cast their ballots.
This came amid allegations ZEC had a ploy to deny the educators that right in fear the teachers and other civil servants disgruntled by the economic problems would vote against theruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
ZEC has been accused of bias in favour of the party.
Through an applicatiob to the High Court by its lawyer, Denford Halimani,
of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, ARTUZ had expressed concern that its members’ fundamental rights were likely to be infringed by ZEC’s actions in deploying them to serve as polling officers in areas in which they were not actually registered to vote.
Justice Muzenda has ordered ZEC to give teachers and all other civil
servants serving as electoral and polling officers or in any capacity a
temporary break from conducting the elections management body’s
duties on election day to enable them to vote and to provide transport to
travel to and from the polling station, where they are supposed to vote.
Unlike in previous elections in which a person registered in a
constituency could vote at any polling station within that constituency,
this year’s general election will be conducted on the basis of polling
station voting as stipulated under sections of the Electoral Act.
– CAJ News