Zanu (PF) Militia Demand Elections

“From as far as August 2008, there are parliamentary seats that fell vacant and replacements were elected to fill in such vacancies within the time stipulated by the Electoral Act…Applicant’s members who reside in the affected constituencies continue to be prejudiced by non-representation.

“Laws and regulations have been made and continue to be passed without any input from their elected representatives thereby depriving them of their right to participate in the legislative arm of the State,” the secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Youth Service Graduates Association, Abson Madusise, stated in his founding affidavit accompanying his application.

In the application, which is set to send apprehensions down the spines of several Zimbabweans who fear a repeat of the violent actions by the militia graduates, Madusise cited Zanu (PF) leader President Robert Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as respondents including its chairperson Simpson Mtambanengwe.

Zanu (PF) and the MDC parties agreed at the inauguration of the coalition government to avoid staging by-elections as a measure to safeguard the stability of the inclusive government.

However, the pact was torn into shreds last year when the High Court ordered the staging of elections in three Matabeleland constituencies after some legislators, expelled from the MDC party led by Professor Welshman Ncube, petitioned the courts.

In July, the Supreme Court ordered Mugabe to call for by-elections by the end of August. However, the Zanu (PF) leader got a reprieve last month when High Court Judge President Justice George Chiweshe extended the period for Mugabe to fix the by-elections dates by 1 October.

Mugabe said he needed the time extension to mobilise and ascertain the availability of financial resources to stage a “mini-general election” in all the vacant parliamentary and senatorial constituencies in the country including local authorities.

The disclosures on the lack of financial resources to fund by-elections confirms the abstemious revelations by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who has repeatedly cautioned those clamouring for the staging of general elections that the government’s purse was empty and could only fund a referendum on a new draft governance charter.