Source: Think-tank raps Parly procedure on Zec commissioners interviews – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 6, 2016
Political think-tank, Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) has blasted the procedure recently used by the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) to interview commissioners for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), saying the process was flawed.
by VENERANDA LANGA
In a paper titled The Reconstitution of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission: From Bad to Worse, RAU said the type of questions asked to the 23 interviewees vying for the six Zec vacancies were easy and lacked a follow-up.
RAU senior researcher, Derek Matyszak also pointed out that some of the shortlisted candidates were previously involved in flawed electoral processes and the SROC allowed them to go scot free.
“I looked forward to witnessing opposition members of the interview panel putting some prickly questions to nominees, who were seeking re-appointment as commissioners,” he said.
“It is obvious that questions ought to be directed to the candidate’s past, successes or failures in such a post, and I had assumed that the outgoing commissioners, who wished to be considered as incoming would, thus, be questioned on the manner in which previous elections had been conducted by ZEC.”
Matyszak expressed concern over the manner in which one of the candidates, Joyce Kazembe, was shortlisted for another term, when the constitution prohibits Zec members from being in office for a period more than 12 years.
Candidates listed as having responded to questions posed by the SROC with ease during the interviews were Kazembe and University of Zimbabwe political sciences lecturer, Charity Manyeruke.
Kazembe and Joseph Matema, a former Zimbabwe Republic Police Senior Assistant Commissioner, were alleged to have in the past presided over flawed Zec processes, but the SROC failed to dig deeper into how this time they would preside over free and fair elections.
“The failure to customise questions to take into account concerns about particular applicants, as would have been normal in a commercial interview process, for example, made it impossible to properly assess candidates’ suitability as independent commissioners,” the RAU report said.
Matyszak said, as a member of the police force, Matema was was investigating team leader in MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s treason trial.
He was also said to have been involved in the arrest of former MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti on treason charges ahead of the 2008 presidential run off election.