The High court on Wednesday 29 November 2017 granted an order allowing the so-called aliens to register as prospective voters in the 2018 general elections provided that they bring along with them their identity documents endorsed alien coupled with a birth certificate and proof of residence.
The granting of the court order came after human rights lawyer Denford Halimani of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights petitioned the High Court on behalf of Harare resident Sarah Kachingwe and two opposition political parties namely MDC-T and MDC-N seeking an order to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to register the so-called aliens as prospective voters in the 2018 general elections during the ongoing biometric voter registration exercise.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday 29 November 2017, High Court Judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ordered that any person born in Zimbabwe who is of or over eighteen (18) years with an identification card endorsed “alien” and a birth certificate showing that such person was born in Zimbabwe and at least one of the parents of such person was born in Zimbabwe or from the Southern African Development Community region with proof that he or she was ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe on the relevant publication date in 2013 is entitled to be registered by ZEC to vote without any impediment or additional requirement other than requirements relating to all people.
Justice Munangati-Manongwa ordered that Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede not to charge any such person regarded as “aliens” to replace identification particulars endorsed alien during the period, which the biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise is taking place as per the timelines set out by ZEC.
The High Court Judge also ordered that Kachingwe together with any class of persons in similar predicament be and are hereby entitled to be forthwith registered as voters by ZEC in the ongoing BVR exercise upon production of the identification card endorsed alien coupled with a birth certificate showing that they were born in Zimbabwe to parents from the SADC region or one of whom is a Zimbabwean and has proof of residence.
Justice Mungangati ruled that the right to vote is one of the fundamental freedoms a person can enjoy in their lifetime and can only be enjoyed when one is registered as a voter.