By Nqobani Ndlovu
FORMER Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioner (ZEC) Qhubani Moyo reportedly plans another try at the ballot box, targeting the same Insiza constituency he twice lost to Zanu PF when he was a member of the opposition MDC.
Moyo’s term and that of ZEC fellow commissioner Emmanuel Magade expired last month, the electoral body announced in July in a notice inviting members of the public to nominate replacements for the duo.
Moyo, who was appointed ZEC commissioner in September 2015, has expressed disinterest for reappointment as commissioner of the electoral body.
According to the Electoral Act, “members of the ZEC are appointed for a six-year term and may be re-appointed for one such further term, but no person may be appointed to or serve on the Commission after he or she has been a member for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, that amount to 12 years.”
However, Moyo has reportedly set sights on contesting the Insiza North constituency on a Zanu PF ticket, a seat he twice lost to former deputy Sports and Culture minister Andrew Langa in 2008 and 2013 respectively.
At the time, Moyo was a director of policy research co-ordination in the MDC led by current MDC Alliance vice-president Welshman Ncube.
After the 2013 election, Moyo resigned and “joined” Zanu PF, which development critics argued led him to be appointed as one of ZEC’s commissioners.
Moyo is said to be “playing his cards close to his chest so as not to be seen as undermining the incumbent who is from his party”.
Moyo was, however, coy when asked on reports that he is eyeing the seat saying that he has not engaged the elders of the constituency on the issue.
“I was a candidate at some point but I have not visited, engaged the elders of Insiza North as yet to gather their views, and inputs on this subject. However, when the appropriate time comes, I will keep you abreast,” Moyo said.
The seat is currently held by businessman and Zanu PF MP Farai Taruvinga.
In August 2018, a policeman guarding Moyo’s residence in Bulawayo was shot and injured a few hours after a Constitutional Court ruling that confirmed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
The motive is still unknown.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa refused to accept Mnangagwa’s victory accusing ZEC of vote fraud while also calling for its disbandment.
Justice Priscilla Chigumba chairs ZEC while Faith Sebata, Ngoni Kundidzora, Netsai Mushonga, Sibongile Ndlovu, Daniel John Chigaru and Joyce Laetitia Kazembe serve as commissioners.
The elections body has, however, faced controversy since its formation in 2005, with charges that it is biased towards the ruling Zanu PF party.
Independent election observers, opposition parties and rights’ groups such as the Human Rights Watch have expressed serious concerns about the independence and impartiality of the commission.