Heather Charema Mash West Bureau
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has called on Parliament to consider urgently de-linking constituency delimitation from the National Census to accommodate changes in settlement patterns in the 2023 elections.
ZEC’s appeal comes at a time when Zimbabwe is targeting to complete the electoral law reform process before the lapse of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament as the country lays the foundation for the 2023 harmonised elections.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba told a stakeholders’ conference in Kadoma over the weekend that there have been several changes in settlement patterns since the last delimitation.
“The last delimitation exercise was done in 2008, since then several changes have taken place in our law and in settlement patterns. The 2013 Constitution linked delimitation to the National Census and also there has been rapid urban expansion which may affect existing boundaries,” she said.
“Several communities were displaced by natural disasters and developments and the result of all these changes is that some villages or wards no longer exist, for example in Mwenezi where people were displaced by the Tokwe-Mukosi dam or Chipinge where people were displaced by the cyclone. We also have areas where whole new locations have sprouted, for example in Harare South.
She added: “We also have a situation where some locations are ordinarily seen as belonging to Harare, but are in fact in other provinces, for example Mt Pleasant Heights which is in Mazowe District. All these point to the need for delimitation.