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Senate yesterday passed the Electoral Amendment Bill despite attempts by the MDC-T to block its passage.

On Tuesday MDC-T senators objected its Third Reading despite accusing Government of not prioritising alignment of existing laws to the new Constitution and walked out of Senate in protest.

The opposition party had raised some objections with the Bill during the Second Reading which they felt should be addressed.

During the Third Reading stage yesterday the MDC-T senators led by Midlands Senator Morgan Komichi, again tried to block its reading.

“We gly feel that the Bill should not be read for the third time,” he said just as a clerk was about to read the Bill.

His request was, however, denied by the president of the Senate, Cde Edna Madzongwe, who felt the objection had been raised at an inappropriate time.

The Bill, which seeks to align the Electoral Act with provisions of the new Constitution adopted last year, then went through the Third Reading after an affirmative acclamation from most of the senators.

MDC-T argued that the Bill was not clear on which office was responsible for custody of the voters’ roll between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Registrar-General’s Office.

They also argued that the Bill did not provide for voting of prisoners and citizens out of the country besides civil servants saying it was in violation of the Constitution.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Deputy Minister Fortune Chasi, however, said Government was sincere on the need to align existing laws with the supreme law of the land.

He added that Government had no intention of interfering with the operations of ZEC, adding they would ensure every eligible voter cast their ballots at the next elections.

Deputy Minister Chasi said some of the issues raised by the senators were operational and would be dealt with by ZEC.

The Bill is still to be debated in the National Assembly.

Source : The Herald

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