BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
CIVIC society organisations (CSOs) and other interested stakeholders will be allowed to monitor the delimitation exercise to ensure transparency and avoid a repeat of 2008 when the exercise was dismissed as tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was accused by the opposition of gerrymandering — allocating 143 constituencies to communal lands and the remaining 67 to urban and peri-urban areas of the 210 contested seats.
Opposition parties queried the outcome, arguing that it was deliberate as Zanu PF draws much of its support from rural areas.
Zec commissioner Netsai Mushonga, however, told a public webinar held last week under the theme The Nexus between Delimitation and the Population Census: Implications for Electoral Democracy that CSOs would be allowed to observe the upcoming delimitation exercise.
“The Zec commissioner further noted that the process of coming up with a roadmap was delayed by almost a year due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown. She noted that it is still work in progress, but there is a draft already in place,” a statement detailing the outcome of the meeting read in part.
The webinar was organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) and drew participants from Zanu PF and the opposition.
“The commissioner highlighted that CSOs and other interested stakeholders will be allowed to observe the delimitation process in the same way they observed the biometric voter registration process.”
Zesn chairperson Andrew Makomo emphasised the need for public participation and consultation in the process and called on Zec to avail a roadmap on how the exercise would be conducted.