Policy think tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) says the appointment of Abigail Millicent Mohadi as one of the Commissioners to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is a clear testimony that the electoral body is far from being independent.
Eyebrows have been raised following the appointment of Mohadi to the Commission with experts citing conflict of interest as her father is second in command at the ruling Zanu PF party.
In a report analysis, ZDI said the appointment was a consolidation of the electoral body’s capture by Zanu PF and will lead to another disputed election in 2023.
“The appointment of Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose is a clear testament that ZEC is far from being independent as per the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe under sections 234, 235 and 236. It presents the consolidation of capture and infiltration of ZEC by ZANU-PF that will lead to another disputed outcome of the 2023 election as was the case of previous elections,” said ZDI
With reference to the 2018 Chegutu West Parliamentary election where Zanu PF candidate Dexter Nduna was mistakenly declared winner of the election, ZDI said ZEC had become dependent on the ruling party.
“The brazen announcement of election loser as victor (the case of Dexter Nduna of ZANU-PF party and Gift Konjana of the then opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC Alliance in the 2018 election) is feared in 2023 as ZEC has now openly become dependent on ZANU-PF – one of the election contestants,” the think tank said
ZDI said in setting the tone for a credible election in 2023, Parliament should among other issues reverse Mohadi’s appointment.
“Cognizance of the importance of credible elections in setting a tone for sustainable development, the ZDI in line with its aim to advance democracy, development, good governance and human rights in Zimbabwe offers the following recommendations for consideration by stakeholders; to the Parliament of Zimbabwe Reverse the appointment of Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose and make another appointment in line with sections 234, 235 and 236 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Appoint Commissioners on the basis of merit and not loyalty to build public trust in ZEC,” ZDI said.