Resend of BILL WATCH 3/2014
and results of By-Elections
[27th January 2014]
In response to so many readers asking for Bill Watch 3/2014 in the usual format, we are resending it and also adding the results of the by-elections. We apologise that a server hitch changed the original bulletin into plain text format.
Results of Council By-Elections in Harare, Karoi & Zaka
A Clean Sweep for ZANU-PF
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] has announced the results of the council by-elections held on Saturday 25th January. ZANU-PF won all three seats, comfortably retaining Karoi Ward 10 and Zaka Ward 32. The contest in Harare Ward 12, previously held by MDC-T, was very close, with ZANU-PF getting 843, MDC-T 835, NCA 76 and the independent candidate 26. The NCA also put up a candidate in Zaka, getting 62 votes against ZANU-PF’s 861 and MDC-T’s 107. The two-horse race in Karoi ended with ZANU-PF getting 725 votes against MDC-T’s 226.
BILL WATCH 3/2014
[23rd January 2014]
Council By-Elections in Harare, Karoi & Zaka: Saturday 25th January
On Saturday 25th January the Zimbabwe Election Commission [ZEC] will conduct by-elections to fill vacancies in three local authority wards:
- · Harare City Council, Ward 12 [previously held by MDC-T]
- · Karoi Town Council, Ward 10 [previously held by ZANU-PF]
- · Zaka Rural District Council, Ward 32 [previously held by ZANU-PF]
The vacancies were caused by the deaths of sitting councillors, all of whom were elected in the July 2013 harmonised elections.
Political Parties & Candidates Contesting the By-Elections
Nomination courts sat on 20th December 2013. Nominations were accepted from candidates fielded by ZANU-PF, MDC-T and the National Constitutional Assembly [NCA] and from one independent candidate, as indicated below. These will be the first elections to be contested by NCA candidates since the NCA became a political party. The Welshman Ncube-led MDC put forward no candidates.
Harare City Council, Ward 12
The four candidates are:
Jack Ethen Muzanenhamo [Independent]
Albert Mponda [MDC]
Takura Gadzira [NCA]
Maureen Nyemba [ZANU-PF]
Karoi Town Council, Ward 10
The two candidates are:
Solomon Chiwaya Musekiwa [MDC-T]
Fortunate Madamombe [ZANU PF]
Zaka Rural District Council, Ward 32
The three candidates are:
Elias Budi Mutava [MDC-T]
Enock Chikamhi [NCA]
Togarepi Toruvanda [ZANU PF]
Ward Voters Rolls to be Used
As in the harmonised elections, there will be ward voters rolls and voters will be entitled to vote at any polling station in the ward. The voters rolls will be regarded as having closed for the purposes of each by-election on the day that the seat concerned fell vacant [Electoral Act, section 121(4)].
Note: Polling-station based voting and polling station voters rolls are not yet part of our electoral system; they cannot be introduced until section 42 of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2012 (No. 3 of 2012) is brought into operation at some future date [Act 3.2012, section 42(2)].
The Electoral Environment
The run-up to these polls has not been free of allegations of violence and other malpractices.
In Harare in early January, the NCA accused ZANU-PF of responsibility for seriously assaults on NCA supporters who were attempting to put up the NCA candidate’s election posters in Mbare, which falls within Ward 12.
The MDC-T has complained of vote-buying by ZANU-PF in Karoi.
Expiry of Presidential Powers Electoral Amendments [SI 85/2013]
As explained in detail in Bill Watch 60/2013 of 17th December 2013, changes in the content of the Electoral Act occurred on 10th December 2013. On that date:
- · the amendments and modifications to the Electoral Act made by the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations [SI 85/2013] expired. According to section 7 of thePresidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, the expiry means that the Electoral Act now applies “in all respects as it existed before being … amended or modified by the regulations”..
- · the Electoral Act has accordingly reverted to its pre-SI 85/2013 form. [Soft copy of Electoral Act in that form available from Veritas; please see addresses at the end of this bulletin.]
These elections are, therefore, going ahead under the Electoral Act as it was before SI 85/2013.
Comment: For these by-elections this is probably of academic interest only. The only significant difference between the provisions for local authority elections pre- and post-SI 85/2013 is that SI 85 briefly provided for a tied result in a ward election to be resolved by a special run-off by-election between the tied candidates, whereas pre-SI 85 and now a tied result would be resolved by the drawing of lots by the Chief Elections Officer. The current Electoral Amendment Bill, not yet introduced into Parliament, provides for the re-instatement of run-off by-elections to resolve tied results.
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