Zanu PF pressure group ‘MenBelievED’ claims ZEC delimitation flawed
Zanu-PF aligned pressure groups have castigated the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for leading a “discriminatory and flawed” delimitation process.
The shadowy groups dismissed ZEC’s preliminary delimitation report showing Zanu-PF losing some rural wards to urban constituencies that are widely believed to be opposition strongholds.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, MenBelievED spokesperson Timothy Nyakudzuka accused ZEC of failing to consult critical stakeholders who include but are not limited to youths, journalists and women.
“Any process that excludes the participation of citizens is discriminatory and flawed,” he said.
“As MenBelievED we can’t avoid suspicion that could be motivated by personal or unknown interests.
“As a community of interest in the delimitation of electoral boundaries, we believe that the Commission did not have sufficient time to execute a thorough and effective process, and it is consequently the reason why we are here today, to express our disgruntlement in the Commission’s failure to define a path for fair representation and contribution of the thoughts of the general public.”
MenBelievED further complained that the delimitation process would result in the disruption of cultural boundaries and people’s way of life.
“Boundaries that seek to disrupt our way of life, roll back government progress in supporting the future, and that seek to divide the unity in our communities. that our ancestors long established – have no place or relevance in the development of our society.
“We believe the way boundaries have been configured in our communities through this process, is disruptive of our devolution agenda.
“The Commission’s proposed boundaries did not take into consideration the results of the 2022 population census.
“Traditional leaders, business community, farmers, miners, in fact, most stakeholders were excluded from the consultative process, and today, we just hear that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has completed delimitation and made decisions on behalf of all these stakeholders in delimiting the nation’s boundaries,” Nyakudzuka said.
MenBelievED proposed that ZEC should hold its report and go back to the people for proper consultation.
Another Zanu-PF aligned organisation, Association of Rural Districts Councils of Zimbabwe, also slammed ZEC saying its delimitation process was undermining the unity and harmony among communities.
“This delimitation process has resulted in disharmony among communities, undermined traditional values and reduced confidence in emerging societies. Our people should never have to choose between their nations and boundaries,” the leader of the association, David Mutasa said.
“Traditional leaders, business community, farmers, miners, in fact, most stakeholders were excluded from the consultative process and we hear that the commission has completed delimitation and made decisions on behalf of all these stakeholders in delimiting the nation’s boundaries.”
Contacted for a comment, ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said, “I’m not available in the office. Send a message I will forward to the relevant people”.
The commission was yet to respond during the time of writing.
Delimitation is the process of dividing the country into constituencies and wards for the purposes of elections of persons to constituency seats in the National Assembly and of councillors to local authorities.
The last delimitation exercise based on the Registrar-Generals’ voters roll was conducted in 2008 but was disputed with critics and the opposition saying it was skewed in favour of the ruling party.
In October the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary for elections Ian Makone said: “The way Zec is carrying out the delimitations process is quite disturbing. Zec informed us that the most important aspect of the delimitation process is the voters roll. That has not been availed to our people.
“How will they confirm where they belong in terms of their constituencies in the absence of the voters roll? That alone raises questions on issues of transparency. Then there is the issue of engagement.
“We have written to Zec several times inquiring about the voters roll and demanding it to be availed to the public for inspection. However, we did not get any favourable response from Zec, which makes us question the credibility of the whole delimitation process,” Makone said in October.