By Nigel Pfunde
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba has lashed out at exiled former Information minister Jonathan Moyo for alleging she approached President Emmerson Mnangagwa with a raft of ‘unhealthy electoral reforms’ and was met with a cold shoulder.
According to a NewsDay report, Moyo, in his book titled ‘Excelgate’ to be launched this Friday, alleged Chigumba’s proposed reforms included a clause that the Zec chairperson should be appointed through a parliamentary process.
In an interview with Zim Morning Post on Tuesday, Chigumba said she was shocked with the malicious allegations bent on drawing a wedge between her and the appointing authority.
“It is shocking that such utterances are coming from a Professor.
“There is no provision that allows for Zec to meet with not only the President, but the whole executive and Parliament.
“I am a stranger to Parliament,” Chigumba said.
She said she reports to the line ministry (Justice and Legal Affairs) and presents Zec proposals to the Inter-ministerial taskforce chaired by Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
“On what grounds can I go and meet the President. We simply present proposals to the taskforce who, in turn, sends them to Parliament for debate.
“If he alleges I rigged the elections in favour of President Mnangagwa, so how can I then propose to change a bill that will disadvantage me?
“As Zec, we know such unfounded allegations will come and we have become used to that,” she said.
Chigumba added that Moyo’s allegations were out of sync with reality.
“The only time we presented proposals was in the build-up to the elections and yet Moyo’s time of reference is early this year.
“In that instance, our proposal was on the installation of sub-booths at polling stations,” explained Chigumba.
Asked on how she was appointed, Chigumba said: “My appointment was done in the same manner like other commissions such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“The president writes to the Chief Justice and asks for four names of any sitting or retired judges who are fit and proper for the particular role.
“The list will then be vetted by the Office of the President and Cabinet, who then writes back to the Chief Justice advising of the successful candidate.
“In my case, it was Chief Justice Malaba who then wrote to me since I was a sitting judge.
“He advised of my secondment for chairperson of Zec,” she explained.
Meanwhile, government weighed in and poured cold water on claims made by Moyo in his book.
“Is he (Moyo) now a prophet? Maybe he is now a prophet who knows what happens inside buildings and translates that into books?” Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi asked rhetorically. Zim Morning Post