A report by the Citizen in Action Southern Africa (CIASA) has shown that Zimbabweans are increasingly losing confidence in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over its management of electoral processes.
The report titled Capturing the Judiciary: Reality or Phantom, which was released last Friday, said ZEC has been selectively applying its powers, which has resulted in the public doubting its capacity to produce indisputable polls.
In the report, CIASA analyses the recent ruling by the High Court, which reversed a ruling on the cancellation of constituency vacancies made by the same court and saw ZEC setting a new date for nominations for six vacant seats in Harare East, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Nkulumane, Pumula and Mutasa South.
The seats fell vacant after the recall of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members Harare East, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Nkulumane, Pumula and Mutasa South. by the said party. CIASA said in the report:
The case on Zec’s independence is largely built on the basis that they require the Justice minister (Ziyambi Ziyambi) to approve or facilitate their law-making function, without which they cannot directly interface with the Parliament of Zimbabwe for law-making purposes.
In a statement announcing the cancellation of nomination courts seating for the six PDP constituencies, Zec chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana, stated that: ‘The proclamation calling for by-elections issued by the President in terms of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022 on January 6, 2022 is accordingly amended.
This by all means confirms the long-held suspicion that Zec’s insistence on limited law-making functions is, therefore, selectively applied. This is concretised by the fact that a day later, after another court ruling, Zec turned around and said it needed to check the legal feasibility of reopening nomination court which they did nevertheless.
The report echoes sentiments by opposition political players and some members of the general public who believe ZEC connived with the ruling ZANU PF and manipulated the presidential election results in 2018.
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