Pressure group claims ZEC falsified constituency boundaries; used coordinates in Antarctica

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By Staff Reporter

PRESSURE group Team Pachedu has made startling claims that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) used non-existent coordinates, some of which point to areas in Antarctica in its final Delimitation Report.

The report was gazetted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on February 20.

Team Pachedu claimed some of the coordinates used by ZEC are actually in Zambia, South Africa and Swaziland.

“We have found hundreds of Antarctica coordinates in the Final Delimitation Report. ZEC falsified many coordinates in the report claiming they are from Zimbabwe, yet they are not. We demand an explanation!” said Team Pachedu.

“We also located the final delimitation coordinates in neighbouring countries. From as far as Chitambala in Zambia to South Africa, and even Swaziland.

“There is a huge mess in Matobo. 363 coordinates (92.4%) from 23 Wards are wrong as ZEC mixed up Eastings with Northings. Secondly, ZEC used the wrong Universal Transverse Mercator Zone 36S, yet Matobo is in 35S. This malfeasance is unacceptable.

“ZEC has changed the boundary on the map, but the description still has previous coordinates. The Constitution says the description supersedes the map but is silent on what to do when the description is for two different boundaries.”

Zimbabwe heads for elections between July and August this year.

ZEC has been at pains to get the report accepted by all players. Academics have described it as a deliberate scheme to maintain ruling Zanu PF’s majority in parliament.

Main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere last week told journalists they were however unfazed by fears of gerrymandering identified in the report.

According to the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), ZEC used 2007 constituency boundaries, cutting on perceived opposition strongholds and increasing numbers in Zanu PF strongholds.

“There is no justifiable reason for adopting this framework other than the desire to avoid loss of constituencies from Zanu PF stronghold provinces needed to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament,” reads ZDI’s report on the matter.

The process of dividing the country into constituencies and wards for purposes of elections is conducted once every ten years.