Delimitation: Final report expected next week . . . President submits own views to ZEC
Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
A draft of the final report on the delimitation of constituency and ward boundaries is expected to be ready next week for delivery to President Mnangagwa who will eventually gazette the actual final document in terms of the law, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, said yesterday.
This comes as President Mnangagwa yesterday delivered a report to ZEC containing his views about the preliminary delimitation report after last week he handed over the report compiled by Parliament.
The new delimitation report is expected to be used in the forthcoming harmonised elections expected to be held soon after the middle of this year.
Delivering his report at State House yesterday to Justice Chigumba, President Mnangagwa said he had some observations on the preliminary delimitation report that had been compiled by ZEC and submitted to him and subsequently to Parliament.
“Last time I gave the chairperson of ZEC the response by Parliament on the preliminary delimitation report by ZEC. I promised the chairperson that I will also present my observations regarding my study of the preliminary report for her attention. This (report) is mine capturing observations which I felt you need to give attention to. Munotorara muchiverenga rakawanda,” said President Mnangagwa.
In her response, Justice Chigumba told President Mnangagwa that she had already constituted groups working in different shifts to study reports and respond accordingly.
In an interview after receiving the report, Justice Chigumba said ZEC was already seized with the report compiled by Parliament and hoped to produce a draft next week after carefully studying all reports including that which they got from the President.
“I have just received this report from His Excellency, the President, in terms of the Constitution which entitles him to raise some concerns with the preliminary delimitation report and to forward his concerns to ZEC.
“His concerns have been duly received and at the moment we have convened all the district election officers and provincial election officers in Harare. Over the weekend they were working on the report from the ad-hoc committee from Parliament,” said Justice Chigumba.
Parliament approved that report from the special all-party committee it set up to go through the preliminary delimitation and they handed it over to the President before he passed it on to ZEC.
“I am sure tonight they will be working in 12-hour shifts on the report from His Excellency, the President. We are working urgently because time is of essence. We were supposed to work on the final delimitation report to be gazetted by His Excellency, the President before a certain date in order for us to be able to use these boundaries for the 2023 harmonised elections.
“What we expect is sometime next week we will have a draft ready which will be the privilege of His Excellency, the President to review before we print a final report which he will then gazette at his convenience.”
In December last year, ZEC presented its preliminary delimitation report to President Mnangagwa and was tabled before Parliament for debate as provided for by the Constitution.
Parliament has since adopted a report from its all-party ad-hoc committee chaired by Gutu South MP Cde Pupurai Togarepi (Zanu PF) which proffered some recommendations which it felt ZEC should consider.
ZEC has since pledged to deal with concerns raised Parliament and the President as it prepares the final delimitation report which it hopes to be ready soon in line with constitutional provisions.
She said there were certain timeliness that should be observed in order for the harmonised elections to be held within the constitutionally permissible time frame. The final delimitation report must be gazetted six months before the next elections.