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Former VP Mohadi’s daughter among banished ZEC commissioners

Former Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s daughter Abigail is among the seven Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) commissioners, who are reportedly being punished for refusing to append their signatures to the electoral body’s preliminary delimitation report presented to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Parliament recently.

The seven commissioners, Rosewita Murutare, Kudzai Shava, Jane Mbetu-Nzvenga, Shepherd Manhivi, Abigail Mohadi, Jasper Mangwana and Catherine Mpofu wrote to Mnangagwa and Parliament accusing the electoral body chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba and her deputy, Rodney Simukai Kiwa of unilaterally imposing the draft delimitation report on the electoral body, resulting in them disowning the whole process

In the letter, attached to a Constitutional Court challenge by Tonderai Chidawa in which Parliament is a respondent, the commissioners said the report was not people centred as it was a product of the views of Chigumba and her deputy.

“Recognising the need to guarantee the integrity of the delimitation process through non-deviation from considerations that are laid out under section 161(6) of the Constitution; further recognising that the 2023 harmonised elections should be conducted in the next few months, and the need for the Constitution to create a voters roll that resonates with the new boundaries, this is impossible with the remaining time; concerned that the current draft delimitation proposal does not meet the minimum standards expected regarding transparent procedures that strengthen stakeholders’ confidence and dispel potential gerrymandering allegations; and further concerned that the current draft delimitation proposal is not people-centred and not in an understandable format. We hereby resolve to: Put aside the current draft delimitation proposal except as a reference point for a proper delimitation process to be conducted and wholly guided by the Commissioners after the 2023 harmonised elections,” read part of the letter.

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According to NewsDay sources, the seven commissioners had hoped that Mnangagwa and Parliament would reject the report in its entirety without making any recommendations which would have a serious negative indictment on Chigumba and her deputy.

This did not happen putting the seven commissioners under-fire for planning to topple their boss.

Chigumba, who has been nicknamed the Iron Lady by staffers at the electoral body, is said to be unperturbed by the failed palace coup by the seven commissioners and has reportedly turned the swords against them.

“Chigumba is well versed in the process since she is a judge. She was not disturbed by their move to discredit her. Commissioners such as Manhivi, who is a registered legal practitioner with a law degree, and holds other two additional degrees in administration and international relations; and Mpofu, who is a language, communications specialist and peace practitioner and have experience working with the public, media and civil society from the legislative arm of the State, should be taking a leading role in the report, but have not been consulted,” a source said.