Democracy and policy think tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) preliminary delimitation report has exposed Zanu PF’s ruling elites’ capture of the electoral system through manipulation of boundaries ahead of 2023 harmonized elections.
In a political review paper titled Electoral Rigmarole and Elite Discohesion, ZDI said the report speaks largely to infighting within the ruling Zanu PF‘s to leaders.
“First is the capture of the electoral system by the ruling elite to influence the electoral outcome through gerrymandering, calculated to disorient the main opposition and benefit the ruling party. These include collapsing of constituencies with more registered voters to beef-up constituencies with less registered voters, multiplying constituencies with ZANU PF majorities in Harare to list a few.
“Second is the elite discohesion within ZANU PF which is identified as a precursor for a possible authoritarian breakdown. This is shown through a sudden discohesion within ZEC and between ZEC and key allies of Mnangagwa affected by the preliminary delimitation. Thirdly, ZEC’s incompetence has been shown by failure to follow constitutional provisions, failure to follow simple arithmetic calculations to determine constituency and ward delimitation and the lack of consultation of key stakeholders. Fundamentally, the botched delimitation report speaks to infighting within the ruling party elites. It is a continuation of the post-coup and post-2022 ZANU PF congress – the unresolved ZANU PF leadership question post-Mugabe,” said ZDI.
The think tank said the report vindicates its assertions that the electoral body is compromised and cannot hold free and fair elections.
“ZEC preliminary Delimitation Report confirms assertion that have been averred by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute since 2012 that the independence of ZEC is compromised by its strong links with the ruling party and the securocratic state complex and incompetent to handle democratic, free and fair election in Zimbabwe.
“ZEC should implement the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee’s position which says that ZEC should be inclusive in its delimitation, adhere to section 161(3),(4) and (6) in calculating constituency and ward delimitation and ensure that in collapsing of constituencies must ensure that those will less registered voters are collapsed to keep those with more registered voters,” said the think tank.
The Draft Delimitation Report was tabled in Parliament a fortnight ago with the Parliament ad-hoc committee set up to analyse the report noting several discrepancies in the manner it was conducted.