OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has dismissed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) recently released 900 page delimitation report, insisting the constitution had not been adhered to in coming up with constituency and ward boundaries.
The report, which was handed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and tabled before Parliament last week, is being contested by both Zanu PF and CCC, with the latter telling journalists ZEC commissioners used the 1980 Lancaster House constitution in coming up with it.
CCC accused ZEC of manipulating boundaries of constituencies in favour of Zanu PF, gerrymandering.
The worst case identified by the opposition party being BeitBridge, where the town’s two constituencies are now divided by a street in the central business district.
“We tried engaging ZEC and at most of the consultative meetings we sent our representatives to listen and make submissions in relation to aspirations of the CCC,” the party’s deputy secretary for elections, Ellen Shiriyedenga, told journalists Tuesday.
“The implication of non-availability of the electronic voters roll is that we are not able to validate the delimitation process because we do not have the statistics. As you might be aware, one of the primary determinants of the exercise is the number of registered voters.
“It becomes very difficult to validate the boundaries, which is where the issue of gerrymandering comes in.
“Clearly, ZEC did not follow the provisions of our constitution. As a matter of fact, ZEC used the old Lancaster House constitution in ascertaining the thresholds.
ZEC has acknowledged and promised to fix errors in the report, that include mis-posting; a situation where residents of a certain area are categorised as belonging to a wrong ward.
Added Shiriyedenga, “When delimiting boundaries, you should ensure that citizens with similar characteristics reside in one ward or polling area … those issues were never taken into account by ZEC.
“Some traditional leaders came out to say they were never consulted and we all know chieftaincy boundaries are paramount in Zimbabwean culture.”
Seven of the nine ZEC commissioners have already written to Mnangagwa and Parliament distancing themselves from the exercise. – Newzim