The visu­ally-im­paired’s vot­ing chal­lenge to be heard Mon­day

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Daniel Ne­mukuyu Se­nior Court Reporter

THE High Court will on Mon­day de­ter­mine whether or not the visu­ally-im­paired should be pro­vided with spe­cial bal­lot pa­pers printed in braille to af­ford them the right to a se­cret vote.

Mr Abra­ham Mateta, a regis­tered voter who is visu­ally-im­paired, wants Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (ZEC) to put in place ad­min­is­tra­tive mea­sures to en­able peo­ple in his con­di­tion to vote by se­cret bal­lot in the com­ing 2018 har­monised elec­tion.

He also sug­gested the use of the tem­plate bal­lot to en­sure peo­ple who are visu­ally im­paired en­joy their con­sti­tu­tional right.

Al­ter­na­tively, Mr Mateta proposed that ZEC must pro­vide tac­tile vot­ing de­vices to all the visu­ally im­paired peo­ple who wish to vote by se­cret bal­lot.

Mr Mateta ar­gues that those who wish to be as­sisted in vot­ing should se­lect their own as­sis­tants and cast the vote with­out the in­volve­ment of a pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer or any other third party. The Reg­is­trar of the High Court yes­ter­day served the par­ties con­cerned with a no­tice of set down, in­form­ing them that the case will be heard on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Jus­tice Charles Hungwe will hear the mat­ter in his cham­bers.

Harare lawyer Dr In­no­cent Maja of Maja & As­so­ciates filed the ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion on be­half of Mr Mateta.

In the ap­pli­ca­tion, ZEC, Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Ziyambi Ziyambi and the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral of Zim­babwe were listed as re­spon­dents.

Mr Mateta stated in his found­ing af­fi­davit that his rights were likely to be vi­o­lated if the ad­min­is­tra­tive mea­sures were not put in place.

He also wants the min­is­ter and the AG to amend the elec­toral law to give ef­fect to the right of the visu­ally im­paired to vote in se­cret.

The leg­isla­tive amend­ments, ac­cord­ing Mr Mateta, must be ef­fected by De­cem­ber 31, 2018.

Mr Mateta said the visu­ally im­paired must not be dis­crim­i­nated against dur­ing elec­tions.

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