The parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to look into the 2022 Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise has urged the electoral mother body to abide by the provisions of Section 161 of the Constitution in coming up with electoral boundaries.
Following the presentation of the report by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi last week, the 13 member ad-hoc Committee chaired by Zanu PF’s Pupurai Togarepi was tasked by Parliament to conduct a detailed analysis of the Report concerning the provisions of section 161 of the Constitution and present its findings and recommendations in the National Assembly and Senate.
In its findings the Committee advised ZEC to honour census population and ensure equal number of voters in constituencies or wards as provided for by the Constitution.
“The Committee recommends that ZEC should take due regard to the census population in its totality in the delimitation exercise and not just the adult population. ZEC was supposed to use the final census results. This is because wards and constituencies serve other purposes apart from elections, for instance, distribution of devolution funds and constituency development funds.
“Where the factor of community of interest between registered voters was not considered, the Committee recommends that ZEC should revisit the factor and ensure that it is taken into consideration. ZEC should ensure that there is equal number of voters in constituencies or wards as provided for in terms of Section 161 (3) and (4) of the Constitution.
“Where there was a departure from the permissible variance of lower and upper limit of 20%, ZEC should rectify and ensure that it remains within the allowable variance. Where collapsing of Constituencies that had more voters was done to give in to those that had fewer voters, it is the Committee’s considered view that ZEC should use the same principle of maintaining those with more votes and collapse those with fewer voters,” the Committee said
The findings and recommendations will be debated in the National assembly and Senate on 17 and 18 January 2023.
Parliament would then submit its Report on the findings and recommendations on the ZEC 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise to President Emmerson Mnangagwa by 20th January 2023 for onward submission to ZEC.