Majority ZEC commissioners reject delimitation report; write to Mnangagwa as Madhuku threatens court fight

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) members have written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Parliament rejecting the preliminary delimitation report which was tabled before lawmakers Friday.

A letter seen by revealed that seven out of nine commissioners want elections held under the old delimitation report.

The commissioners said it was impossible for them to create a new voters roll considering the time left before this year’s general election as the report created new boundaries which have a direct effect on resource allocation, service provision and general community development.

They commissioners also said the new report lacked transparency.

“Further recognising that the 2023 harmonised elections should be conducted in the next few months, and the need for the commission to create a voters roll that resonates with the new boundaries,” reads the letter

“This is impossible with the remaining time; concerned that the current draft delimitation proposal does not meet the minimum standards expected regarding transparent procedures that strengthen stakeholders’ confidence and dispel potential gerrymandering allegations; and further concerned that the current draft delimitation proposal is not people-centred and not in an understandable format.

“We hereby resolve to put aside the current draft delimitation proposal except as a reference point for a proper delimitation process to be conducted and wholly guided by commissioners after the 2023 harmonised elections.”

Meanwhile prominent lawyer and National Constitutional Assembly party leader Lovemore Madhuku, on behalf of Zanu PF proxy Tonderai Chidawa, also wrote to Parliament saying the report was the work of ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba and her deputy Rodney  Kiwa and not the whole body.

Madhuku said he intended to approach the courts concerning the matter.

“It appears that the preliminary delimitation report tabled in parliament yesterday (6th January, 2023) is not an act of the ZEC, as a body corporate. At most, it may be an act of the chairperson of the commission and her deputy.

“May Parliament respond to this letter by close of business on Monday 9 January, 2023. My client intends to approach the courts for appropriate relief, on an urgent basis, should parliament fail to fulfil its constitutional obligation as set out in this letter,” reads Madhuku’s letter.

It was recently reported that Chigumba and Kiwa refused to be intimidated by their colleagues resulting in serious tensions among the Commissioners.

Zanu PF officials had reportedly rejected the report way before it was tabled before Parliament; they complained the new ward and constituency boundaries favoured the opposition.

Chigumba was accused of being a sellout.