Parliament invites the public to nominate ZEC commissioners

Zimbabwean parliament

PARLIAMENT has invited members of the public to nominate knowledgeable people of integrity to serve in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) as three commissioners are expected to retire from the institutions in the next three months.

The Zec commissioners whose terms are coming to an end are deputy chairperson Emmanuel Magade and Dr Qhubani Moyo while in the ZHRC, Comm Sheila Hilary Matindike’s tenure ends in September.

Comm Sheila Hilary Matindike In a statement on yesterday, the Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) said the public should have nominated individuals to replace the three commissioners by July 16.

The term of office is set to expire for two Zec commissioners by the end of August while ZHRC commissioner’s term is expiring on September 21.

“The Committee on Standing Rules of Parliament of Zimbabwe is mandated in terms of Section 237 and 238 of the Constitution to nominate candidates for appointment by His Excellency, the President, to serve as Commissioners of the Zec as provided for in Chapter 12 of the Constitution.

The CSRO is hereby calling on the public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment to the Zec.

Two current commissioners’ term will be expiring on 31st August 2021,” read the statement.

The committee did not state the names of commissioners whose term is expiring.

It said the commissioners will be required to superintend over the running of the country’s elections in a fair and transparent manner.

“Zec has the following functions — to prepare for, conduct and supervise elections for the office of President and Parliament, elections to provincial and metropolitan councils and the governing bodies of local authorities, elections of members of the National Council of Chiefs established by Section 286 and referendums,” it said.

The CSRO said commissioners will be responsible for: “registering voters; to compile voters’ rolls and registers; to ensure proper custody and maintenance of voters’ roll and registers; to delimit constituencies, wards and others electoral boundaries; to design, print and distribute ballot papers, approve the form of and procure ballot boxes and establish and operate polling centres.” It said commissioners will also be expected to conduct and supervise voter education, to accredit observers of elections and referendums and to give instructions to persons in the employment of the State or of the local authority for the purpose of ensuring the efficient, proper, free and fair conduct of any election or referendum.

The commissioners will also be expected to receive and consider complaints from and to take such action in regard to the complaints as the Commission considers appropriate.

On the other hand, the CSRO said section terms Sections 237, 243 and 244 of the Constitution allows it to nominate candidates for appointment by the President, to serve as Commissioners of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission as provided for in Chapter 13 part 5 of the Constitution.

“One vacancy will arise in the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission on 21st September 2021, which is expiry date of the term of office of one of the Commissioners.

Accordingly, the CSRO is hereby calling on the public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment to this Commission,” reads the statement.

ZHRC commissioners are expected to promote human rights awareness and attend to complaints made by the public on the same issues.

“It’s function is to protect the public against abuse of power and maladministration, by State and public institutions and by officers of those institutions; to investigate the conduct of any authority or person, where it is alleged that any of the human rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration of Rights has been violated by the authority or person, to secure appropriate redress, including recommending the prosecution of offenders, where human rights or freedoms have been violated, to direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of suspected criminal violations of human rights or freedom,” read the statement.

ZHRC is also mandated to recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights and freedoms and also conduct research into issues relating to human rights and freedoms and social justice.

It is also expected: “To visit and inspect-prisons, places of detention, refugee camps and related facilities and places where mentally disordered or intellectually handicapped person are detained, in order to ascertain the conditions under which persons are kept there, and to make recommendations regarding those conditions to the minister responsible for administering the law relating to those places.”

Source – Chronicle

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