Concern over ability of the disabled to vote in Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe's elections

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – HUMAN rights lawyers have taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to task over access to polling stations by people with disabilities.

Ahead of the general election on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wants the ZEC to ensure the secrecy of the vote of these disadvantaged members of the public.

ZEC recently published a list of all provisional polling stations to be used in the polls but ZLHR noted the list did not advise the public if all of the said provisional polling stations had facilities which are accessible by people with disabilities in order to enable them to cast their vote.

The human rights lawyers stated that in terms of the Constitution, every Zimbabwe citizen who is aged 18 years and above had the right to vote in all elections and referendums and has the corollary right to vote in secret.

Furthermore, in terms of the Constitution, every person has the right not to be treated in an unfairly discriminatory manner among other things on the basis of disability.

ZLHR emphasised that ZEC has a constitutional obligation to ensure that all the polling stations to be used in the harmonised elections are accessible and are friendly to persons with disability.

The human rights lawyers asked ZEC to advise ZLHR of the measures and/or special arrangements it has taken and implemented to ensure that all polling stations to be used in this year’s general elections are accessible to people with disabilities and to guarantee the secrecy of their vote.

They also asked ZEC to indicate when it will publish the final list of polling stations and given that the general elections are imminent.

There are doubts already over the Southern African country holding a credible poll.

Critics of Argue state institutions have tilted the exercise in favour of incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

– CAJ News

scroll to top