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Project 2023: Delimitation Likely To Result In More Members Of Parliament

Project 2023: Delimitation Likely To Result In More Members Of Parliament

Zimbabwe has embarked on a delimitation exercise that will see some constituencies being split or merged depending on the size of the population in that area.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the election of 350 Members of Parliament. Parliament consists of the Senate and the National Assembly and each has 80 and 270 Members of Parliament respectively.

Timeline:

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in July invited members of the public for the inspection of the delimitation voters’ roll.

ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the purpose of the inspection of the voters’ roll was to allow members of the public to check if their names are appearing on the voters’ roll and to check if their details are correctly captured and if not, to correct such anomalies.

ZEC set aside a total of US$83 million for the delimitation of constituencies ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections. The commission’s spokesperson, commissioner Jasper Mangwana said the funds were for the voters’ roll inspection and the delimitation exercise. 

ZEC announced in May that the process of boundary delimitation shall commence from the 1st of June, 2022, and continue into the culmination of the drafting of a preliminary report or until the 31st of December, 2022, whichever occurs first.

Time Madondo, ZEC’s Voter Registration And Delimitation Director told a workshop in Harare in 2019 that some of the seats will be merged to form one constituency due to the continuous dwindling of registered voters in the Bulawayo province, leaving them with few representatives in the Parliament.

According to ZEC, a seat should have at least 27 000 voters to get a representative in Parliament. However some seats in Harare like Harare South, Epworth and Budiriro have 70k, 69k and 40k respectively and ZEC thinks the situation needs to be addressed in the next election.

Criticism:

The United Democratic Alliance President (UDP) Dr Daniel Shumba has urged people to reject the delimitation exercise currently underway arguing that it is being used to rig the 2023 elections.

The former Zanu Pf politburo member said, “The biggest Electoral scam is in the Delimitation exercise. It is meant to justify the deployment of the additional 2 million ghost Voters. This is the reason for the highly publicised choreography of new members joining and defecting to Zanu PF. Elections already Rigged. REJECT!

Some argued that ZANU PF wants to use the delimitation exercise to divide constituencies where it has support, for instance, Epworth so that it would have more representatives in Parliament.

Practices in other countries:

Delimitation is common and is referred to as gerrymandering in some jurisdictions. In 2021, The Republicans in the U.S.A. were accused of using gerrymandering to virtually guarantee their re-election.

During 2012, 2014 and 2016 midterm elections, gerrymandering shifted 59 congressional seats, 39 for Republicans and 20 for Democrats, according to a report from the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

Why does this matter?

If the constituencies being split, for example, belong to ZANU PF, the ruling party will likely have a majority in Parliament. Or if merged constituencies or wards belong to MDC, the opposition party will have few representatives.

Some fear that the 2022 census might have been manipulated in favour of the ruling ZANU PF to justify the split of constituencies where the party enjoys support while those in which it has faced strong opposition might be merged for dominant parties there to have few representatives.

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22 Comments

Asalif 3 weeks ago

I think D4 is at it since he was a politiburo member and a former army colonel he knows all Zanu Pf strategies


mdara Loli pop 3 weeks ago

ndozviri kuuraya nyika izvozvo. Zvima Mp zvakawanda zvine basa rei iyo nyika Iri kutambura kudai. Dai vatobvisa senate bcoz haritorina basa zvachose. ma Mp oita mashoma futi zvimwevhete nema ministers , maybe mari ikabiwa ne vanhu vashoma zvinogona kuita nani.


aspiring mp 3 weeks ago

nyaya haisi yekubvisa mamp nemasenators nyaya ndeye ethical leadership.which is clearly lacking in this country.the country since the start of millennium has adopted a culture of corruption and grand looting.nyangwe pakasara ED Ari 1 anongoba zvese.

Colenbrander Ave, Northend 3 weeks ago

Lets have more sekisi in Bulawayo kuti tiwande otherwise we will lose constituancies


State Destinies 3 weeks ago

maita vadiki vana vevanhu


Machiavelli 3 weeks ago

Gerrymandering starts right here.
There's nothing wrong in keeping the 210 seats, even if means more voters per constituency.

Here is a ploy to increase seats in rural areas where ZANU, thanks to intimidation and vote catching can still garner some support


Machiavelli 3 weeks ago

Apology accepted. No hard feelings my brother/sister. 🙏🏾

QPE via Northend 3 weeks ago

@Machiaevelli: Apologies for the insult

Machiavelli 3 weeks ago

correction:correction:- wrongly addressed @WPE instead of @QPE ( presumably Queens Park East)?

Machiavelli 3 weeks ago

@WPE via Northend, there is no need to trade insults. As God is my witness, and commentators on Pindula know, I discuss issues level headedly and hardly ever use uncouth language.

Be that as it may from the census preliminary results Bulawayo and Matabeleland Provinces are very likely to lose some constituencies. And I for one feel saddened by that turn of events.

I may have been born, raised an resident in the Northern parts of the country, but having worked in Bulawayo for 3 years, residing in Hillside, Burnside and finally in Norwood (past Richmond en route to Nyamandhlovu) I cherish that period of my life.

QPE via Northend 3 weeks ago

Uri mhat. Bulawayo constituencies are already struggling to reach the current 27 000 voters.

nkazimulo 3 weeks ago

No


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Bondolfi Mission 3 weeks ago

We here you former airforce Daniel Shumba.So what do we do after rejecting the delimitation exercise? Isnt it better to get involved so that evidence of gerrymandering can be collected?


mtt 3 weeks ago

too many useless mps cost to nation


mtt 3 weeks ago

zimba too small for 500 mps common sense must prevail


Gonzo 3 weeks ago

Please Zec should be transparent on the day of payment for those who participated in the delimitation process before everything


Billey 3 weeks ago

@Gonzo, i agree with u brah, even those who latter participated in the voter inspection and education are yet to receive their allowences, Zec is not even announcing the actual payment day but $83 million was availed for the program.

Jaspar Mangwana must be crazy

Tintin 3 weeks ago

nehurongwa hweZEC raini rese richapedzisira raneMP.


Da Truth 3 weeks ago

Census was done to give affirmation of false population.We are going to have a divided Zimbabwe .Do we need more MPS no we don't we need jobs and health system which is viable.


Da Truth 3 weeks ago

Census was done to give affirmation of false population.We are going to have a divided Zimbabwe .Do we need more MPS no we don't we need jobs and health system which is viable.


Stix 3 weeks ago

ZEC Is proving to be a very complicated public service commission. The spokesman clearly claims to have Us$85million but close to 3 months now workers who provided services are still Unpaid. Their programmes do not stop the by elections presently they have delimitation exercise So unfair for a Commission to be treating people like this Its Pathetic


maputi 3 weeks ago

@Machiavelli you hit the nail on the head.Sure rural constituencies will have more MPs



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