Eighteen judges of the High Court have been named by Chief Justice Luke Malaba to constitute the Electoral Court that will operate from March 1 to August 30 this year in terms of the Electoral Act.
According to the Electoral Act, the Electoral Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals, applications and petitions in terms of the Electoral Act; to review any decision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission or anyone else made under the Act; and shall have power to give such judgments, orders and directions in those matters as might be given by the High Court. But the Electoral Court cannot try any criminal case.
“Judgments, orders and directions of the Electoral Court shall be enforceable in the same way as judgments, orders and directions of the High Court.”
Under the Electoral Act, the Chief Justice consults the Judicial Service Commission and the Judge President of the High Court and then appoints at least two judges of the High Court to be Judges of the Electoral Court for such a period as the Chief Justice specifies.
The Electoral Court’s jurisdiction may be exercised by a judge of the Electoral Court sitting alone or with one or more assessors.
So Chief Justice Malaba has after making these consultations appointed the following judges of the High Court to be judges of the Electoral Court Division of the High Court: Judge President Justice Maria Zimba-Dube, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, Justice Martin Makonese, Justice David Mangota, Justice Amy Tsanga, Justice Esther Muremba, Justice Moses Foroma, Justice Jester Helena Charewa, Justice Phildah Muzofa, Justice Isaac Muzenda, Justice Benjamin Chikowero, Justice Pisirai Kwenda, Justice Christopher Dube-Banda, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, Justice Never Katiyo, Justice Elijah Makomo and Justice Lucie-Anne Chipo Munewari.
In January, President Mnangagwa proclaimed March 26 as the date for by-elections to fill vacant National Assembly constituency seats and council wards as required by the Constitution.
Normally by-elections are held soon after the seat falls vacant, but proclamation of dates were postponed early last year when the first Covid-19 infections were found in Zimbabwe.
However, health authorities and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission now believe they can safely manage the assembly of voters at polling stations. Herald.