We Are Taking Zec To Court Only To Ensure Elections Are Legitimate, Reduce Number of Challenges: Veritas (Full Text)

Parliamentary and civic rights watchdog, Veritas has refuted reports that it is taking the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to court for political reasons. Veritas said that the only reason why it is taking Zec to Court is to make sure that the elections are held legitimately in accordance with the Constitution. This comes after Veritas has been condemned by state media for suing Zec over voter education and over the lack of transparency.  In a statement, Veritas said,

There have been several news articles misrepresenting Veritas. Whether they have criticised or congratulated Veritas for taking cases on election matters, the implication has been that we are doing it for political reasons or to hamper ZEC’s ability to run elections. These suggestions are without any foundation whatever. They would not merit a response except that they raise several points that need to be made very clearly:

Veritas is not affiliated with any political party: It is an independent organisation that prides itself on being impartial and in promoting law and constitutionalism in a truthful, accurate, objective and totally non-party-political manner. We are confident that the many Zimbabweans and organisations familiar with our work know that to be so.

Veritas emphasises that in bringing the court cases it is not acting at the behest of any political party or local or foreign organisation. Our sole concern is to ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair and credible and conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the law. So long as those criteria are met, Veritas will accept the result as all patriotic Zimbabweans should, no matter who wins.

The particular case referred to in one of the state newspapers was a case to enable more people to do voter education. In no way was it meant to embarrass the President, as suggested by the newspaper. In fact, the case was lodged on 9th November before he came into power. The delay has been caused by the courts.
Nor was the case meant to involve ZEC with additional expenses – we had, in fact, discussed the case with ZEC and the Ministry of Justice months ago and made clear that it was in the interests of free and fair elections. Veritas has in fact been working to bring our electoral law and practice into line with the Constitution since the Constitution came into force in 2013. And our intention has at all times been to improve the chances of the coming election being accepted as free and fair and credible.

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