MDC T leader Douglas Mwonzora has made a fresh attempt to block the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe by approaching the High Court to prevent President Emmerson Mnangagwa from proclaiming poll dates. Last week, Mwonzora’s previous application on a related matter was dismissed by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt). He had sought to nullify a delimitation report on new constituency boundaries, arguing that the process was conducted unprocedurally.
Mwonzora, in his latest application filed on Friday, seeks to have the final delimitation report declared invalid. He claims that the report is flawed and contains irregularities, such as a lack of transparency in determining the new boundaries. Mwonzora argues that the report fails to provide sufficient information, including the number of individuals who have recently turned 18 and are eligible to vote.
The delimitation report has been a subject of controversy, with opposition parties and election watchdogs accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of using an incorrect formula to redraw electoral boundaries. The previous delimitation exercise was conducted before the 2008 elections.
Mwonzora emphasizes that the current delimitation report does not comply with Section 161 of the constitution and therefore cannot serve as the basis for a free and fair election, as mandated by the constitution. He argues that the report’s deficiencies hinder his campaign planning, such as determining rally locations and encouraging voter registration.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Friday that elections would be held in August. Mwonzora expressed his dissatisfaction with the ConCourt ruling in a television interview, accusing the judges of making a politically biased decision. He believes the ruling aimed to protect the electoral body from embarrassment.
However, some analysts have criticized Mwonzora’s actions, suggesting that he is attempting to subvert the constitution regarding the scheduling of general elections. They argue that Mwonzora is exploiting a just cause to achieve an undesirable outcome. Human rights activist and founder of Project Vote 263, Youngerson Matete, accused Mwonzora of being aware that elections cannot be postponed and labeled his actions as politically motivated.
Legal experts, such as Harare-based lawyer Edwin Saungare, suggest that Mwonzora’s latest application is likely to be overtaken by events. If it is treated as an ordinary application, by the time it reaches the court, the president would have already announced the election dates, rendering the application irrelevant.
The outcome of Mwonzora’s new bid to block the elections remains uncertain, but the controversy surrounding the delimitation report and the opposition leader’s persistence in challenging it are indicative of the political tensions in Zimbabwe in the lead-up to the polls.
Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿/ The Standard