ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba might soon be brought before a tribunal to face allegations of dishonesty, misconduct and incompetence following a petition sent to the Judicial Service Commission by a Kwekwe-based political activist.
Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo, a prominent Kwekwe based activist, delivered his petition to Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s office on July 17 and the secretariat at the top judge’s office acknowledged receipt of the document the same day.
Moyo, in his petition, claimed that Justice Chigumba had of late allegedly behaved most dishonourably in the manner she handled preparations for this month’s general elections, adding there was need to urgently investigate and find out if she was still suitable to continue holding on to a public office.
He cited a number of incidences where he claimed Justice Chigumba allegedly misconducted herself.
“She has availed the Zec database to Zanu PF, contrary to provisions of the law. In doing so, she has not only breached the law, but has unnecessarily exposed her hand by showing favouritism to Zanu PF. The act of allowing Zanu PF to access the database has compromised the integrity of the voters’ roll and prejudiced the whole conduct of the harmonised elections,” Moyo said.
“She has in this regard exposed the private and confidential details of the entire citizenry to men and women of questionable standing. In view of the violent history of this country, the information is now being used as a soft form of voter intimidation.”
He also accused her of failing to show transparency in the printing of the ballot paper.
“There is evidence that Justice Chigumba has imported compromised ballot paper from Russia. The intention behind the use of that ballot paper is to negate the expression of the will of Zimbabweans in a manner that I am able to electronically demonstrate. Her insistence in keeping the ballot paper away from everyone but Zanu PF has made me very afraid,” Moyo said.
“The manner in which she has designed the ballot paper is a poor attempt at putting Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zanu PF presidential candidate) into a position of undue advantage and is contrary to the provisions of the law, which requires that all details be contained in a single column and not the two that she has settled for.”
Moyo alleged Chigumba has appeared in public adorned in a scarf, which is the signature of Mnangagwa, a contestant in the upcoming elections.
“The explanation that has come from her and her officials on the subject has been inconsistent and betray a guilty state of mind,” Moyo said.
“Justice Chigumba has misinterpreted basic provisions of the law in a manner that suggests that she is grossly ignorant of the law. That calls into question her suitability to remain a judge. Her erroneous views on clear provisions of the law are so outrageous in their defiance of basic common cannons of interpretation and logic that the sustainable impression is given that she has not earned even a basic law degree.”
He also alleged Justice Chigumba recently presided over the police postal voting scandal in which police officers were reportedly made to vote in front of their superiors.
“Justice Chigumba has been arrogant in a most inflammatory and indecorous manner. Her choice of words and decorum is not befitting that of a judge. For instance, in rubbishing the complaints that have been raised against her conduct; she has indicated that she needs nothing less than an earthquake to take time to listen to those concerns.”
JSC is yet to respond to the petition.