Legislative watchdog, Veritas Zimbabwe, has lost its bid to conduct voter education this year after its application seeking to be allowed to conduct the exercise has been dismissed by the High Court.
Veritas Zimbabwehad also applied seeking another order declaring part of the Electoral Act as unconstitutional.
The application was dismissed on the basis that its application was “fatally and incurably defective”.
High Court judge, Justice Owen Tagu said he could not probe into the merits of the Veritas’s application since the civic rights watchdog had brought the matter before the court on a “wrong form”.
“In Casu the form used by the applicant is, with greatest respect not Form 29 nor Form 29B. There was therefore a substantial departure from the rules. The question now is can this substantial departure from the rules be condoned under Rule 4C? Or can I condone it merely because this is an application of a constitutional matter, the answer is a definite NO,” Justice Tagu said.
“I will therefore uphold the preliminary points and decline to deal with the matter on the merits.
“In taking this decision I am aware of the concessions allegedly made by the second and third respondents (Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney-General (AG) Prince Machaya) at the beginning of the matter, but be that as it may since I found that the application under case HC 11749/17 is fatally and incurably defective, every proceeding and or concessions founded on it are also bad and incurably bad, one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there.”
“In casu an election has already been called so any decision this court may make to the provision of the Electoral Act has no effect to this election. The applicant has ample time to lodge its papers properly if it feels it has a good case otherwise the applications are dismissed,” the judge said ordering Veritas to pay wasted costs on a legal practitioner and client scale.