Source: ZEC in delimitation time fix | The Sunday News July 7, 2019
Vincent Gono, Features Editor
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is in a fix over the limited time it has to fulfil the delimitation exercise that is tied to the results of a census that will be carried out in 2022 before elections in 2023 amid revelations that it has made submissions to Government on the issue, Sunday News has learnt.
In separate interviews, Zec commissioners John Chigaru and Qhubani Moyo said the issue of time for the delimitation exercise that was tied to a census that was to be held a year if not just a few months shy of the 2023 harmonised elections has caused a splitting headache for the country’s commission mandated to run the polls.
Comm Chigaru said the commission had made submissions to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with a view to get counsel on the issue as the timeframe was not allowing for delimitation to take place as planned.
“We have been discussing that.
The delimitation exercise is tied to the census and I think the census is supposed to be held in 2022 while elections will be in 2023. So we are realising that the results of the census from where determinations on delimitation are to be made may delay the process of delimitation.
“We therefore hope that there will be engagements on the political front to get the way forward on the issue.
The time is just too short for us to do the delimitation exercise and put all the administrative processes for the holding of the elections in 2023,” said Comm Chigaru.
Comm Moyo concurred arguing that tying the delimitation exercise to the census was problematic as delimitation was determined not by the population but by the number of registered voters in a particular constituency.
He said it was prudent to untie the two processes since the census results might not be available in time for the delimitation exercise to be carried out.
“I think we need to untie the delimitation exercise from the census.
The delimitation is largely informed by the number of registered voters in a particular area and not the whole population, even of those that are not eligible to vote. You may find out that the census results may not even be available by the time we go for elections so I am not sure how we are going to do it,” said Comm Moyo.
The comments came after Sunday News had sought clarity on a tweet on Zec official Twitter handle @ZECzim where it was calling for people to register to vote.
“Voter registration is continuous at all Zec district and provincial offices. Please register now and participate in Zimbabwe’s elections.
The upcoming delimitation exercise is also largely informed by the number of registered voters in a particular area, so play your part,” reads the tweet.
The two commissioners confirmed that the process of voter registration was ongoing in districts and provinces of the country to allow for those that were not eligible last year to participate.
“The election process is ongoing. Registration is not only done when elections are close by.
Those that would have registered now will not be called to register again, what they will only be called to do will be to inspect the voters roll and make sure their names appear correctly.
“We have therefore started the registration process until 2023 to ease pressure on our part.
We also want to debunk the wild notion within the youths that voting is not necessary.
They should be active participants in the country’s body politic. There is a possibility that some areas could lose some constituencies while other areas can have more depending on the number of registered voters,” said Comm Moyo.
He said the delimitation was further informed by such factors as community of interest, physical barriers and other natural geography factors adding that the registration exercise was meant to accommodate new voters.