Asakhe Online seeks permission to livestream election cases at the High Court

A Bulawayo-based media house, Asakhe Online, has written to the Electoral Court requesting permission to cover some of the election petition cases that arose following the seating of the nomination court.

One of the election petition cases involves twelve Bulawayo registered voters who launched a High Court bid challenging ZEC, seeking to prohibit some opposition candidates from running for office because they allegedly submitted their nomination papers late.

The case will most likely be heard this coming Monday at the Bulawayo High Court.

Ncube Attorneys, who is representing the media house, stated that their client requested permission from the Court to cover election petition matters such as HC135/23, 1360/23, 1368/23, 1359/23, 1367/23, 1365/23, 1366/23, 1358/23, 1364/23, 1363/23, 1361/23, and 136/23.

“The matters that are before this Honourable Court concern challenges to the acceptance of nomination papers of various candidates in the Nomination Court,” said the media houses’ lawyers who noted that these were cases of public interest.   

“The nature of the matter in question is such that it is a matter of public interest and the public would benefit from following the proceedings. Indeed the administration of justice itself would benefit from  the coverage of such an important matter.”

Asakhe Online’s requested coverage involves the use of cellphones and/or video cameras to live stream and broadcast the proceedings to the public through the internet in an orderly and unobtrusive manner.

“Our clients’ primary objectives are inter-alia promoting free expression, and access to information as critical components of its work, especially in matters within the public interest such as these matters,” said Ncube Attorneys.

The legal counsel also said Asakhe Online is willing to abide by any ruling or guidelines that may be established by the court to make sure that due administration of justice is not hampered.

“Kindly revert to us at the earliest convenience or grant us the audience to enable our client to know the response with enough time to make formal court application should you deem necessary,” wrote Ncube Attorneys.

The other election petition case before the Bulawayo High Court involves CCC members who are challenging their omission from the provincial council list and are seeking the court to clear them so they submit their candidatures as per the party list.

These applicants accuse ZEC of depriving them the opportunity to submit their party list nomination papers while the electoral commission has refuted CCC’s allegations claiming the opposition party attempted to submit its provincial council party list while submitting amendments to its initial nomination papers, which was prohibited. 

ZEC claims CCC only had three party lists for Senatorial, National Assembly, and Youth quotas but none for Provincial Council.

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