Lawyers Take On Mudede Over Voters' Roll Application

Harare, July 18, 2013 – Lawyers representing local think tank, Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), have delivered a formal notification and warning for Tobaiwa Tonneth Mudede, the Registrar-General of Voters to withdraw his urgent chamber application filed in the High Court on Wednesday barring the respected organisation from launching an audit of the country’s voters roll.

Mudede on Wednesday obtained an interim order interdicting RAU from launching “a full voters’ roll” at Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel in Harare or at any other place.

In a letter written and delivered to Mudede’s lawyers, Thondlanga and Associates Legal Practitioners, RAU lawyers, Jeremiah Bamu and Tawanda Zhuwarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Mudede’s application and subsequent provisional order, which he obtained from High Court Judge Justice Joseph Mafusire were premised on erroneous understanding of facts.

The lawyers stated that Mudede’s lawyers were furnished with the correct facts and a demand was made for the withdrawal of their matter.

The RAU lawyers said in the event that the matter is not withdrawn by Wednesday, they will file their opposing papers.

The lawyers said Mudede had relied on an erroneous appreciation of facts which he never bothered to cross check with RAU. Bamu and Zhuwarara said had Mudede bothered to do so, there would have been no need for the application to be filed or served.

RAU, the lawyers said intended to launch its second report on an audit of the June 2013 Voters’ Roll, which expands on a previous RAU report and provides a more detailed analysis of the roll and corrects a number of minor errors. RAU’s first report was launched and shared with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the lawful custodians of the voters’ roll who made their comments to the report.

Meanwhile, lawyers from ZLHR have filed ex-parte applications at the Tredgold Magistrates Court in Bulawayo, seeking to overturn the ban imposed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the holding of election debates in Midlands, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North.

The ZRP blocked six election debates organised by Bulawayo Agenda in Gweru, Plumtree, Tsholotsho and Lupane. The meetings, which were supposed to be held beginning early this week and up to next week, are meant to facilitate interface between various political party candidates running for parliamentary office from across the political divide and the public so as to promote citizen participation in elections.

 

The police told the organisers of the election debates that they were only allowing political parties to conduct their campaigns during the three weeks period leading to the harmonised elections as they do not have enough manpower to ensure public order at civic society meetings.