Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
At least six commissioners of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) are set for replacement following the expiry of their six-year terms in July this year.
Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders Committee has since invited for nominations to replace the commissioners some of whom are eligible for re-appointment should they impress a panel that will be constituted by Parliament to interview those shortlisted.
Reconstituting of ZEC in terms of the Constitution is occurring at a time when the election management body has started preparing for the 2023 harmonised elections.
In a statement, Clerk of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Chokuda said vacancies had risen for four female commissioners and two male ZEC commissioners that are due to be filled by eligible persons as provided for by the Constitution.
In terms of Section 238(4) members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must be Zimbabwean citizens and chosen for their integrity and experience and for their competence in the conduct of affairs in the public or private sector.
The law further provides that such persons may be re-appointed for one further six-year term.
Mr Chokuda said the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders of the Parliament of Zimbabwe is mandated in terms of sections 237 and 238 of the Constitution, to nominate candidates for appointment by the President, to serve as ZEC commissioners as provided for in the Constitution.
“The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is hereby calling on the public to nominate six (6) persons to be considered for appointment to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to fill vacancies arising from the expiry of the terms of six current commissioners (four) female and two male on 6th July 2022,” said Mr Chokuda.
Some of the functions of ZEC is to prepare for, conduct and supervise elections to the office of President and to Parliament, elections to provincial and metropolitan councils and the governing bodies of local authorities, elections of members of the National Council of Chiefs established by section and referendums.
It is also mandated to ensure that those elections and referendums are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law, supervise elections of the President of the Senate and the Speaker and to ensure that those elections are conducted efficiently and in accordance with the law.
Other functions include to register voters, to compile voters’ rolls and registers, to ensure the proper custody and maintenance of voters’ rolls and registers, delimit constituencies, wards and other electoral boundaries, to design, print and distribute ballot papers, approve the form of and procure ballot boxes, and establish and operate polling centres, to conduct and supervise voter education.
It is also the function of ZEC to accredit observers of elections and referendums, give instructions to persons in the employment of the State or of a local authority for the purpose of ensuring the efficient, proper, free and fair conduct of any election or referendum; and to receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as the Commission considers appropriate.
“Nomination material must consist of a typewritten submission of no more than two A4 pages long stating why the person nominated is a suitable candidate together with a completed nomination form. The form can be obtained at Parliament offices or downloaded from the website: www.parlzim.gov.zw,” said Mr Chokuda.