Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is using 2008 delimitations (marking boundaries) in the 2018 harmonised elections as new electoral boundaries can only be established after a national population census.
This emerged at a media training workshop conducted by ZEC in conjunction with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management in Zvimba. ZEC deputy chief elections officer, knowledge management and communication Mrs Jane Chigidji said new electoral boundaries can only be drafted using the 2022 census.
“We are maintaining the electoral boundaries as delimited in 2008. “People should, however, not confuse delimitation with the mapping exercise which is being done to determine polling stations given the population dimensions.
“We are respecting existing delimitations on electoral boundaries. “Delimitations will be done every 10 years as the Constitution states that it is done using results of a national population census.
“Delimitation before the 2008 elections was done in 2007. “The census was done in 2012, but is not being used as the Constitution stipulated that the new boundaries can only be done using results of a census,” she said. ZEC Acting Director Voter Registration Mr Collins Munetsi said this was also presenting some challenges.
“For instance Mt Pleasant Heights remains in Mashonaland Central as defined in the 2008 boundaries while Caledonia is under Goromonzi North. “This will remain the situation as we are not changing boundaries,” he said. According to ZEC, the size of the constituency change is by below 20 percent or above 20 percent so constituencies are almost the same.
“But now some constituencies are three times bigger than others,” Mr Munetsi said. He said ZEC had introduced the Biometric Voter Registration which removed double entries in the voters’ roll. He said requirements for voter registration should not be stringent so that everyone can have the opportunity to vote.