Members of Parliament have demanded that the preliminary delimitation report by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should be returned to the electoral body for amendments.
The delimitation report has been analysed by Parliament’s ad-hoc committee and is now before the National Assembly where it is being further scrutinised and debated.
Some of the recommendations made by the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee are as follows:
- ZEC should take into account the entire population as shown in the census, not just the adult population because wards serve other purposes apart from elections.
- ZEC should revisit boundaries where it did not take into account community interests between voters.
- ZEC should ensure that there is an equal number of voters in constituencies and wards, with variations limited to 20% as required by section 161 of the Constitution.
- ZEC should apply consistent principles when transferring voters from constituencies and wards with large numbers of voters to those with fewer.
During the debate of the ZEC report in the National Assembly on Tuesday, 17 January, Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda (CCC) said:
The report is not a good one as some of the observations that were made by the ad hoc committee included that ZEC did not consider the census report, which is able to indicate the national migration of citizens.
Therefore, in the absence of the census report, it is very difficult to validate some of the findings; for example, Bulawayo province.
When a census report is available, it becomes easy to compare the movement of citizens between areas.
Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (CCC) said ZEC failed to produce a copy of the voters’ roll and to consult citizens during the delimitation exercise. He said:
The test of whether ZEC did a good job was going to be measured on three issues, which include procedure when they were making the report, whether they followed the law, and whether the report is loyal to principles defined in section 161 of the Constitution.
The three scores show that ZEC failed to consider the final report of the census, and there is a co-relationship between the task of delimitation and the population.
When you look at the ZEC report, there is no marriage and there is no connection between the report and the population.
ZEC failed to produce a copy of the voters’ roll and we are just told without validation that the total number of voters is this and that, and yet the actual voters’ roll has not been given.
ZEC failed to consult citizens and it failed procedural issues.
Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF) said “This time ZEC has failed its duties”.
Makoni North MP James Munetsi (ZANU PF), said ZEC ignored statistics and “did the report from what they know” and as a result, cannot be trusted to run an election.
After both the National Assembly and Senate debate the ZEC delimitation report, their findings and recommendations will be presented to President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday. | NewsDay