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ED summons MPs to discuss delimitation report amid housing challenges

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has summoned Members of Parliament to an Extraordinary Sitting to go through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Preliminary Delimitation Report on Friday, 6th January 2023.

ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba handed over the report to Mnangagwa two weeks ago in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Once the President has received it, he is supposed to table it in the National Assembly within seven working days.

Accordingly, a notice has been issued for the Parliament to sit this coming Friday and deliberate on the report. Due to accommodation challenges, few members will physically attend the meeting, others will connect virtually.

“In terms of Section 110(2) (c), His Excellency, the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa has summoned Parliament to an Extra- Ordinary Sitting to conduct special business relating to the Preliminary Delimitation Report on Friday, 6th January, 2023 at 9:00am.

“Due to accommodation challenges still being experienced in Harare, Members are advised to attend the Sitting virtually. The log in details will be shared in due course. A few Members who will attend physically will be advised by the Chief Whips,” read the Parliament memo issued yesterday.

Section 161 of the Constitution stipulates that after delimiting wards and constituencies, the ZEC is supposed submit to the president a preliminary report containing a list of the wards and constituencies, with the names assigned to each and a description of their boundaries; a map or maps showing the wards and constituencies any further information or particulars which the Commission considers necessary.

“The President must cause the preliminary delimitation report to be laid before Parliament within seven days. Within fourteen days after a preliminary delimitation report has been laid before Parliament, the President may refer the report back to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for further consideration of any matter or issue; either House may resolve that the report should be referred back to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for further consideration of any matter or issue, and in that event the President must refer the report back to the Commission for that further consideration,” read the Constitution.

“Where a preliminary delimitation report has been referred back to it, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must give further consideration to the matter or issue concerned, but the Commission’s decision on it is final. As soon as possible after complying with subsections (7) and (9), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must submit a final delimitation report to the President.

“Within fourteen days after receiving the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s final report, the President must publish a proclamation in the Gazette declaring the names and boundaries of the wards and constituencies as finally determined by the Commission.”

The Constitution further states that once every ten years, on a date or within a period fixed by the Commission so as to fall as soon as possible after a population census, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must conduct a delimitation of the electoral boundaries into which Zimbabwe is to be divided.

“If a delimitation of electoral boundaries is completed less than six months before polling day in a general election, the boundaries so delimited do not apply to that election, and instead the boundaries that existed immediately before the delimitation are applicable.

“The boundaries of constituencies must be such that, so far as possible, at the time of delimitation equal numbers of voters are registered in each constituency within Zimbabwe.

“The boundaries of wards must be such that, so far as possible, at the time of delimitation equal numbers of voters are registered in each ward of the local authority concerned.”

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