DELIMITATION report row: Ignore Charamba and Mangwana claims – Speaker Mudenda to MPs

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By Darlington Gatsi

SPEAKER of National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, Thursday told Members of Parliament to ignore “side commentators” regarding the finalisation of the contentious Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) delimitation report that was handed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

MPs sought clarification from the Speaker of Parliament regarding whether the delimitation exercise had been completed.

After the handover of the delimitation report, varying statements emerged on social and mainstream media from Ministry of Information permanent secretary Nick Mangwana and Presidential spokesperson George Charamba claiming the report was not the final copy.

Political analysts and law experts appeared to be proffering contrasting views with Mangwana and Charamba saying Mnangagwa would gazette the delimitation report as the final step.

MP for Glen Norah Wellington Chikombo, quizzed the august house on the true position regarding the delimitation report.

“My issue is that post that meeting, we had varied statements that were uttered by Government functionaries which includes Mr. Mangwana and Mr. George Charamba claiming that the report that was given to the President is not final,” said Chikombo.

“Those statements that were uttered have caused a lot of polarization, disharmony and anxiety across the country. I would want the Justice Minister to come through to elaborate to the House what the correct position is pertaining to that.”

Mudenda responded saying MPs should not go by social media reports, prompting Binga North MP Prince Sibanda to seek clarification.

He added that MPs should be guided by stipulations of the constitution regarding the delimitation report.

“Section 161 is very clear in terms of the processes. The report is tabled here in the House in Parliament, we scrutinize it and make our observations. We then submit to the Head of State and Government in terms of Section 161. Within the specified 14 days, the Head of State must submit to ZEC, which was done,” said the Speaker.

“After that ZEC will start on whatever contributions or analysis that were done by the relevant stakeholders. They will look at them, make adjustments where it is possible and send those adjustments in a report to His Excellency. Within 14 days, the President must gazette. What ZEC has said and done in that report is final. So why do you want to listen to people who talk from the side shows.”

ZEC’s preliminary report received criticism across the political divide with calls for delimitation exercise growing after anomalies and inconsistencies were flagged by parliament’s ad-hoc committee.

ZEC is racing against time to finalise the exercise whose results will be used in the upcoming general elections.