MDC in violation of secret ballot – Zvoma

HARARE – The Zanu PF Clerk of Parliament, Mr Austin Zvoma has raised concern at the violation of the principle of a secret ballot by the MDC-M Secretary General, Ms Priscilla Misiharabwi-Mushonga, who announced her party’s position of siding with MDC-T in today’s elections for the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Mr Zvoma told ZBC News that he is studying the effects of the public utterances by the MDC-M Secretary General to see if there could be an urgent action that needs to be taken as the utterances are blatant and deliberately violating the principle and ideals of a secret ballot.

He said it is unfortunate that the so-called proponents of democracy and the ones who have the guts to publicly violet the concept and ideals of a secret ballot.

Legal experts say if the election of the Speaker of Parliament is conducted after the public appearance and announcement by the MDC-M’s intentions, this will have eroded the principle of secret ballot as already the decision has been taken to the disadvantage of other contestants.

The legal sources say this is putting the Clerk of Parliament, Mr Zvoma under serious pressure and may result yet in another legal battle.

They said by publicly declaring who the MDC-M will vote for, it clearly shows violation of the confidence placed on the ideals of a secret vote, and undermines the supreme ruling in a manner which is contemptuous of the court ruling.

Experts say that the public declaration is a gross violation of the secret ballot principle as expounded by the Supreme Court.

In the absence of a retraction of these comments, the election may remain susceptible to challenge.