President Emmerson Mnangagwa has gazetted the constituency Delimitation Report by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), setting the stage for the crucial harmonised elections set for July-August this year.
Delimitation is the process of dividing the country into constituencies and wards for purposes of elections to constituency seats in the National Assembly and of councillors to local authorities.
The process is carried out once in every ten years in terms of sections 160 and 161 of the new Constitution.
In an Extraordinary Gazette under Statutory Instrument 14 of 2023, President Mnangagwa said he received the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s final delimitation report on the 17th of February, 2023.
“Now, therefore, under and by the virtue of the powers invested in the President, l do by this my Proclamation declare the names and boundaries of the wards and he House of Assembly and Senatorial Constituencies as finally determined by the Commission, which names boundaries are set out in the schedule to this Proclamation, to the wards and National Assembly and the Senatorial Constituencies of Zimbabwe for the purposes of the forthcoming and any subsequent general election.”
Some members of the electoral commission had also dissociated from the preliminary report and it remains unclear whether the electoral body eventually achieved consensus over the final report.
Parliament and the President submitted their comments and reservations to the commission chair Justice Priscilla Chigumba for consideration.
According to the Constitution, “where a preliminary delimitation report has been referred back to it under subsection(8), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must give further consideration to the matter or issue concerned, but the Commission’s decision on it is final.”
The gazetting of the delimitation report puts to bed the confusion regarding to the suggestion that ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba had presented the final report to President Mnangagwa on February 3.
The Constitution states that “Within fourteen days after receiving the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s final report, the President must publish a proclamation in the Gazette declaring the names and boundaries of the wards and constituencies as finally determined by the Commission”
The preliminary report received widespread condemnation across the political divide with some ZEC commissioners also dissociating themselves from the document.
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