By Darlington Gatsi
DATA analyst group and election watchdog, Team Pachedu, has dismissed the recently gazetted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) delimitation report saying it is inundated with constitutional anomalies.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa Monday gazetted the contentious delimitation report which pave way for upcoming elections to be held under new boundaries in some areas.
The delimitation report has aroused furore from political players who accuse the election mother body ZEC and President Mnangagwa of flouting the constitution in carrying out the exercise.
Team Pachedu in a statement said ZEC through the delimitation exercise had failed a test to hold undisputed elections.
“We would like to express our discontent with the brazen disregard of the Constitution of Zimbabwe by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The current delimitation exercise was expected to usher in renewed hopes for democratic elections in Zimbabwe – being based on the new 2013 Constitution.
“Unfortunately, these hopes are fast dissipating as the President and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have marred the entire delimitation process by malicious violations of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act,” read the statement.
Team Pachedu said Mnangagwa tabled the preliminary delimitation report before Parliament outside the stipulated time frame by the constitution.
The group further highlighted that Mnangagwa gazetted the delimitation report after the 14 days that are stipulated by the constitution.
“The clause also reiterates that the President must gazette the boundaries of wards and constituencies “as finally determined by the Commission,” not as finally determined by the President of Zimbabwe. This reinforces the fact that the only absolute power and authority that can determine the finality and conclusiveness of the delimitation report lies solely with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, not with President Mnangagwa.
“ZEC submitted their Final Delimitation Report on 3 February. President Mnangagwa refused to gazette the 3 February Final Delimitation Report, but instead, requested for additional changes to be made thereby usurping ZEC’s power and authority in the process.
“President Mnangagwa was only expected to gazette the 3 February report as it is, but willfully disregarded the constitutionally prescribed delimitation process, undermined ZEC’s powers and has succeeded in illegally subverting ZEC’s authority by forcing the supposed independent Commission into effecting additional unlawful changes to the report,” read the statement further.
Prior to Monday’s gazetting of delimitation report, Mnangagwa had come under political pressure after the 14 days has lapsed with government figures airing contrasting views that he had not received the report from ZEC.
With the delay in gazetting, Mnangagwa had been accused of tempering with delimitation report which he received from ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba earlier this month..
Team Pachedu also accused ZEC of being opaque in carrying out the delimitation exercise.