HomeLocalBallot box inspection postponed indefinitely

Ballot box inspection postponed indefinitely

Clemence Manyukwe

THE inspection of the 2002 presidential poll ballot boxes has been postponed indefinitely after misunderstandings over election materials for Bubi-Umguza constituency.

The MDC last year deferred the inspection of the boxes for an election

in which President Robert Mugabe beat the opposition party’s candidate by more than 400 000 votes to January 9 this year.
 
This was later postponed to February 9.

Terrence Hussein, President Mugabe’s lawyer, on Tuesday said the MDC had postponed the inspection twice this year saying they were still studying materials in the 20 constituencies covered so far.

Hussein said when the Master of the High Court, Charles Nyatanga, wrote to the party asking when they would start inspections after failing to do so on February 9, the MDC responded saying they wanted to begin with Bubi-Umguza election materials which are at the bottom of boxes for the other constituencies.

All the ballot boxes are kept in a courtroom at the High Court.

“They have done 20 constituencies. Why can’t they do the other ones? I think they want to
abandon the whole process because they cannot stop on demands of Bubi when there are still so many other boxes for other constituencies on top which they can inspect,” said Hussein.

Tsvangirai’s lawyer Bryant Elliot said no date has been arranged. “But we should be starting soon. There are some documents that are missing,” he said.

He could not comment further saying the opposition party’s secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, would issue a statement on the issue soon.
 
Efforts to reach Coltart up to Wednesday were fruitless.

On Tuesday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson William Bango declined to comment saying Coltart was the one handling the matter.
 
Nyatanga also refused to comment referring all questions to the lawyers.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mude-de surrendered the election materials to the High Court in May last year.
 
The release of the materials came a week after the court reserved judgement in a matter in which the MDC wanted him jailed for five years for defying seven court orders directing him to do so.
 
The court subsequently convicted Mudede of contempt of court and slapped him with a wholly suspended two months jail term plus $5 million fine.

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