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Joice Kazembe finally leaves ZEC after serving 16 years

The National Assembly’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) is set to hold public interviews for 32 candidates shortlisted to replace six Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) commissioners whose terms of office expire next month.

The interviews to replace Commissioners Joyce Laetitia Kazembe, Daniel John Chigaru, Sibongile Ndlovu, Netsai Mushonga, Faith Sebata and Ngoni Kundidzora are set to be held on Friday.

The CSRO 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 Commissioners on the ZEC as provided for in Chapter 12 of the Constitution.

In a statement accompanying the 32 candidates, CSRO “called on the public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment vacancies in the Commission whose functions and person specifications are outlined under Section 239 of the Constitution. The nominations closed on 11” of February 2022.

“The vacancies will arise after the 6” of July 2022 due to the expiry of term of office for 6 Commissioners, four (4) female and two (2) male. The Parliament of Zimbabwe received seventy two (72) nominations, fifty (50) males and twenty two (22) females, by the closing date.

“The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders met on Friday 20 May 2022 to consider the suitability of the nominees to serve on this Commission.

“The following thirty two (32) shortlisted candidates are now advised to attend interviews in public on Friday, 17 of June, 2022. The venue is the SENATE Chamber, Ground Floor, Parliament Building comer Third Street and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare.”

One of the outgoing Commissioners, Joyce Kazembe was appointed and served for six years as Commissioner in the Electoral Supervisory Commission before its dissolution in 2006.

She was subsequently appointed Deputy Chairperson of the newly instituted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission from 2007 to the end of March 2016. Kazembe was re-appointed Commissioner for a further six-year term in July 2016.

Constitutionally, ZEC is made up of nine commissioners who hold office for a term of six years and can only be renewed once.

Four of the commissioners must be women while the Commission is headed by a chairperson and deputy chairperson who are appointed on a full-time basis.

Kundidzora, however, is eligible for a second term and is among the shortlisted candidates while former ZEC chief elections officer, Mrs Constance Chigwamba will also be part of the interviewees.

Zimbabwe is set to hold harmonised elections in 2023.