By Anna Chibamu
HARARE: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba has dismissed election rigging concerns as demarcation of constituency boundaries (delimitation) ahead of the crunch 2023 harmonised elections.
“We are aware that there are some people who think the delimitation exercise is a way to rig any election,” Chigumba said in an interview at State House during Thursday’s swearing-in of new ZEC commissioners.
“This exercise is transparent. It is a scientific method that uses registered voters and the number of constituencies.
“Each constituency and province is supposed to have equal numbers of registered voters.”
Chigumba’s remarks came after Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a Zanu PF provincial meeting that the ruling party would lead the delimitation exercise.
“We, as the governing party, will lead the delimitation process,” said Ziyambi Ziyambi while addressing a recent party meeting in Mashonaland West province.
“You cannot say that you are ruling and do things that result in you getting out of power. There is no political party that boots itself out of power.”
He added; “As Zanu PF, we must do things that we are all agreeable to as we come up with electoral boundaries.
“We will have another meeting to discuss how the delimitation process is going to be conducted.”
- Minister says Zanu PF to lead delimitation of constituencies; shock utterance seen to confirm 2023 rigging plot
- Government defends appointment of Mohadi’s daughter as ZEC commissioner
- New ZEC commissioners challenged to be non-partisan amid Mohadi outrage
However, ZEC boss Chigumba said there was no room for rigging, adding that anyone not happy with the resultant constituency boundaries could always raise their concerns.
“… if there is anyone alleging that votes can be stolen through this exercise, it is a blatant lie and a lack of knowledge,” she said.
“Where anybody is not happy with the proposed boundaries is at liberty to express their unhappiness.
“Local leadership will be roped in to work with the newly sworn in Commissioners who will be working full time. These will be oriented the ZEC way.”
ZEC, which is supposed to be independent in terms of the constitution, has long faced allegations of impartiality and rigging elections on behalf of Zanu PF.
There was further outrage last week after it emerged that Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose – one of the new commissioners sworn into office – was the daughter of Zanu PF vice president Kembo Mohadi.
“The constitution explicitly required ZEC to be independent and non-partisan,” said opposition Citizens Coalition for Change spokesperson Fadzai Mahere.
“This flagrant appearance of bias violated the constitutional imperative. The appointment must be rescinded forthwith.
“The unacceptable appearance of Zanu PF bias is impossible to shake off in the circumstances.
“Rest assured, we will challenge this as we continue to fight for electoral reforms ahead of the landmark elections in 2023.”