News / Africa

Top Zimbabwe Court Orders Elections by July 31

Zimbabweans register to vote during a voter registration drive in Harare, May 9, 2013.
Zimbabweans register to vote during a voter registration drive in Harare, May 9, 2013.
Reuters
Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court ordered President Robert Mugabe on Friday to hold elections before the end of July, adding to a political controversy over the timing and funding of the vote in the southern African state.
 
“The elections should take place no later than 31st July 2013,” the court's Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said.
 
He was ruling on an application to the court by a Zimbabwean citizen demanding that Mugabe set an election date before the current parliament expires next month.
 
Mugabe, 89, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is to face long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai in the vote.
 
Tsvangirai has been arguing that fresh elections after disputed polls in 2008, which led to the formation of a power-sharing government, should be delayed.
 
He says this will allow for the opening up of broadcast media, registration of new voters and reform of the military to ensure it stays out of politics.
 
A Zimbabwean rights activist, Jealousy Mawarire, filed a case with the Constitutional Court challenging Mugabe to set dates for presidential and parliamentary elections by June 29, arguing that the executive risked violating the constitution.
 
Chief Justice Chidyausiku, whose ruling was supported by six other judges, said it was now legally impossible to hold elections by June 29, but that Mugabe had violated Mawarire's rights as a voter by not proclaiming an election date so far.
 
There was no immediate response from the presidency but lawyers say Mugabe could seek an extension on the July 31 date through the courts.
 
Zimbabwe's finance minister, Tendai Biti, a senior member of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has said the country is struggling to find $132 million needed to be able to hold the elections. Regional leaders have called a special summit to help Harare raise the money.
 
Mugabe has been in power since leading the former Rhodesia to independence from Britain in 1980, and denies charges that he has used violence and rigged the last four major elections to retain office.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid