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Irregularities won’t stop elections: Chigumba

By Daniel Chigundu

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has said it is now too late to stop the 2018 general elections even if parties find irregularities in the voters roll.

Previous Zimbabwe elections were tainted with claims of ghost voters and double registrations and the BVR voters roll was introduced to address some of those challenges but ZEC has dragged releasing the roll.

Opposition parties have been demanding the immediate release of both the provisional and final voters roll so that they can audit it for possible irregularities.

However, ZEC chairperson said even if they were to find the irregularities it’s no longer possible to stop the election and they will have to wait to challenge the outcome of the election instead.

“Let me put the law in perspective, when the President proclaims an election there is nothing short of an earthquake that can stop that election.

“So whether candidates scrutinize the voters roll and find irregularities in it or whatever the anomalies that might be there and whatever legal recourse they have, that will not stop the election. I want to be very clear and that is the rule.

“Nothing stops the elections if there are anomalies in that roll what candidate can do is to avail themselves and challenge the outcome of the election and whatever legal recourse is at hand cannot stop the election.

“I think the Chief Justice was very clear in his interpretation of the law that nothing stops an election after proclamation of the election date, what candidates can do for whatever reasons, whatever their opinion are is to use anything they come up with and challenge the election outcome,” she said.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to go general elections on 30 July where about 23 candidates are battling for the country’s Presidency, while thousands are battling for the Parliamentary and local authority seats.

ZEC announced last week that the 2018 general election voters roll is now available to stakeholders.

And Commissioner Chigumba added that “anyone is at liberate to look at our product analyses it, formulate an opinion and utilize legal recourse available”.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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