ZIMBABWE is likely to go to the polls between July and August, election management body the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said.
Responding to numerous inquiries and public anxiety over the much-anticipated elections, ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said the Constitution is clear on the timing of elections.
“Following numerous requests by a cross section of the public for the 2018 general election dates, the Commission hereby draws the public’s attention to Section 158(1)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which outlines that the general elections must take place not more than 30 days before the expiry of the five-year period specified in Section 143 of the Constitution.
“Section 143 specifies that Parliament is elected for a five-year term which runs from the date the President elect is sworn in and assumes office in terms of Section 94(1)(a),” Chigumba said in a statement Monday.
Zimbabwe last held a general election in July 2018 and former President Robert Mugabe assumed office of August 22 that year.
Chigumba said Mugabe’s term now being finished by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa will come to an end on August 21 this year.
“From a reading of Section 158(1)(a) aforementioned it follows that the next general elections should be held on a date which is at least 30 days and not more than 63 days after nomination court day,” the ZEC boss said.
According to the statement however ZEC will wait for Mnangagwa to proclaim the dates as is required by law.
“However, dates for general elections are set by the President by way of a proclamation in terms of the Section 144 of the Constitution.
“After the proclamation of an election date the nomination court must sit on a day which is at least 14 days and not more than 21 days after the proclamation date,” said the statement.
Chigumba added that ZEC is now working on cleaning up the voter roll.
“While the Commission awaits the issuance of a proclamation for the 2018 harmonised elections, it is seized with the processes of decrypting the biometric voter registration exercise and preliminary cleaning of data collected during the blitz phases as it awaits the delivery of de-duplication of software.”