Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Makarau Testifies in Timba Poll Case

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau yesterday said the commission was unable to provide electronic copies of the voters’ roll for use in the harmonised elections held on July 31 last year because of a breakdown in the equipment used for their production.

She said all the candidates who participated in the elections approached ZEC seeking the electronic voters’ roll in searchable and analysable format.

Justice Makarau said reports from Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede’s office indicate that the servers were broken down and to date nothing has been done to repair the equipment because of financial challenges.

Justice Makarau said this while testifying in the election petition brought to the Electoral Court by Mr Jameson Timba of MDC-T, who lost the Mt Pleasant seat to Cde Jason Passade.

“It cannot be said only the petitioner was disaantaged but all the candidates,” said Justice Makarau while responding to a question by Mr Timba’s lawyer, Mr Trust Maanda, who wanted to know why the petitioner was not provided with the electronic version of the voters’ roll.

“We failed (ZEC) to provide the e-roll to all the candidates that were participating in the elections. They were equally disaantaged. The election was conducted in circumstances where we could not provide the electronic voters’ roll to all the candidates. Even the election observers noted that in their various reports.”

She said all the candidates who participated in the elections were furnished with hard copies of the voters’ roll.

Mr Maanda suggested to Justice Makarau that his client wrote to her raising concern over the voter registration process.

Justice Makarau confirmed receiving complaints from Mr Timba and said she aised him to use the provisions of the Electoral Act to register his objections.

“We offered him free legal aice since we could not do anything to correct the situation at the time,” she said adding: “We aised him to use the law to register his objections.”

Mr Maanda also asked Justice Makarau to comment on the two sets of results announced at the Mt Pleasant Constituency Centre and National Command Centre.

The judge said the results announced at the constituency command centre were official.

Justice Makarau also explained how the special votes were counted.

She said there were mixed with votes cast on July 31 as a way of protecting the secrecy of votes.

“We took that decision consciously to protect secret vote,” she said.

“We did not change anything but the place for counting.”

Mr Joseph Mandizha of Mandizha and Company, who is appearing for Cde Passade, had no questions for the witness.

Mr Timba wants Cde Passade’s victory quashed claiming electoral malpractices.

Source : The Herald