President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday proclaimed the 26th of March 2021 as the date for the much-awaited by-elections to fill vacant local government and parliamentary seats.
The by-elections will be a litmus test for the opposition MDC Alliance following a leadership fall out with another faction now headed by former Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora resulting in the recalling of sitting legislators and councillors.
Other seats became vacant through deaths.
Mnangagwa made the announcement through Proclamation 1 of 2022 under Statutory Instrument 2 of 2022 with nomination courts across the country sitting on January 26 2021.
“President of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe. WHEREAS, in terms of section 129(1)(k) and section 159 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section 39(1), of the Electoral Act the seats of members of Parliament for Pumula, Nkulumane, Epworth…..have become vacant by reason of members of the National Assembly having ceased to belong to a political party which they were members when elected to the National Assembly, by reason of the death of the members of the National Assembly and by reason of appointment of a member to another post; AND WHEREAS it is provided by section 39(2) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13],
“that after the President has been notified in terms of the said section of vacancies in the membership of National Assembly, he shall issue a proclamation ordering a new election to fill the vacancies in the same manner, mutatis mutandis, as is provided in section 38 of the said Act in regard to a general election; AND WHEREAS, the Speaker of Parliament has notified me in writing of vacancies in the National Assembly due to the recall of the following Members of the National Assembly who ceased to belong to a political party which they were members when elected to the National Assembly,” read the proclamation
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga had last year announced a ban on the by-elections, citing COVID-19 as a formidable pandemic in the country.